Pakistan is hosting England for a three-match series starting on December 1. The first test was scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi on Thursday, but a day before England’s match, an outbreak of the virus affected many of their players, and the visitors eventually fielded an XI in time.
This is England’s first Test tour in Pakistan after 17 years. They last toured Pakistan in 2005 when they lost 2-0 and Michael Vaughan captained the side.
Ahead of the first Test, England captain Ben Stokes made a remarkable gesture by pledging his entire match fee for the series to flood relief in Pakistan. Pakistan experienced the worst floods of the monsoon season, leaving many people homeless and severely damaging government facilities and schools.
Ben Stokes’ Gesture Was Amazing – Shahid Afridi
During a discussion on Samaa TV, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi spoke about Stokes’ gesture and praised him for his noble gesture.
“I’ve always believed in that. When we went to India for the World Cup, I was there as a captain of the side. And I had said that the respect we get from India, we don’t even get that from Pakistan. It was a positive message because the situation at that time. There were doubts over whether we would travel to India. As an athlete, the whole world watches you. You always want keep your country’s reputation intact,” said Afridi
“Ben Stokes’ gesture was amazing, it was a nice message. Such things should happen more often, the players are more friendly now. International players now share the dressing room together,” he added.
England toured Pakistan for a seven-T20I series before the T20 World Cup in 2022, and the two teams also faced off in the tournament’s final last month. Following the first test in Rawalpindi, both teams will travel to Multan for the second test, while the third test will be held in Karachi.