Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has reportedly assured that a political rally will not impact the first Test with England to be played in Rawalpindi. An anti-government long march will be led by Imran, a former Pakistan cricket team captain, which led to concerns over unrest in the city and consequently raised concerns whether the Test series opener between Pakistan and England will have to be shifted as a result.
The march has been organised by Imran’s political party Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI).
Karachi was identified as the alternate venue in case there’s a need but last week reports claimed that there won’t be any change in the original itinerary. The march, which was postponed following an attempted assassination of Imran, will go through Rawalpindi on November 26.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja, and high commissioner Christian Turner held a meeting with Imran at his residence.
England will tour Pakistan for a Test series for the first time in 15 years. The first Test will be held in Rawalpindi from December 1 followed by the 2nd Test in Multan from December 9 with the third contest to be played in Karachi from December 17.
Imran, a former Pakistan captain, suffered leg injuries after being shot at during a protest march earlier this month. He was reported to have been struck on his right shin.
Since that incident, regular protests are being held in Rawalpindi. A Quaid-e-Azam trophy match in the city’s Pindi Stadium was delayed by a day after during the protests as the teams weren’t able to travel to the venue from their hotel.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) security advisor Reg Dickinson was also in Pakistan to asses the situation and security earlier this month.