With Pakistan doing England a ‘favour’ by touring them amid the pandemic, all eyes are now on the European country regarding whether they would visit Pakistan, a country they have not visited since 2005/06 season. The reason behind it was security concerns following the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.
In the wake of the attack, all the teams had decided against traveling to Pakistan. As a result, Pakistan were compelled to play their home games in UAE for nearly a decade. However, things have looked promising in recent times as the likes of West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have visited Pakistan.
All eyes are now on England who are scheduled to tour Pakistan in 2022. They will be under immense pressure to visit Pakistan after the latter visited them in these testing times. And while only time will tell whether England visit Pakistan or not, their captain Joe Root has said he “would love” to play in Pakistan. At the same time, he said he is unsure when the space could be found in a crowded schedule ahead of a planned tour in 2022.
“I’d love to go and visit Pakistan,” Joe Root told reporters after the conclusion of the second Test at the Ageas Bowl.
“It would be a great opportunity to go and play there personally. Unfortunately, it’s not my decision to make but it looks a wonderful country to go and play cricket in.
“The wickets look nice and flat, which will be a nice change to what we have just played on here,” the top-order batsman added.
Test cricket returned to Pakistan in December, when Sri Lanka were the visitors. Speaking about it, Joe Root said:
“You could see the emotion of everyone back in Pakistan when Test cricket was there at the back end of last year.
“Also, speaking to a few of the players, how much it meant to them as well and they really appreciated being able to play back in Pakistan too.”
The England star, however, is concerned about how additional fixtures could be added to an international programme still struggling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve such a busy schedule already with backlogging due to COVID, it will be interesting to see how that would work,” he said.
Earlier this week, Pakistan great Wasim Akram had said that England owe Pakistan a reciprocal tour in 2022.
“You (England) boys owe Pakistan cricket, and the country, a lot, with the boys coming over here,” he told Sky Sports on Sunday.