Pakistan would favour England as second home

Pakistan would favour England as the team’s official second home while they are unable to play in their own country because of security concerns.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 28 Jul 2010, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:34 AM

Captain Salman Butt said on Wednesday, “It’s a lovely place to play cricket, there are a lot of Pakistanis living over here, so the support is good,” Butt told reporters at Trent Bridge where his team start a four-test series against England on Thursday.

“The guys love their cricket in England.”

Since a terror attack in Lahore in March last year when Sri Lanka’s team bus and that of the match officials were attacked by gunmen, Pakistan have had to play matches at neutral venues.

They have used Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as alternative home venues in one-day internationals.

Pakistan also played a ‘home’ test series against Australia in England this month in which their pace bowlers took advantage of overcast conditions to help them secure a 1-1 series draw.

“The unfortunate part is there are only six months of the season here so we might have to go to other places as well,” added Butt.

“Of course, the number one priority would be to play in Pakistan. But with the unfortunate situation which is currently going on, I think England is the best option.”


Mohammad Aamer, Mohamamd Asif and Umar Gul claimed a collective 30 wickets in the two tests with Australia, who were bowled out for a 26-year low test total of 88 at Headingley.

Their batsmen, though, may be less keen to play in England frequently against the swinging ball.

England skipper Andrew Strauss accepted Pakistan were more acclimatised to English conditions than they would normally be, having had that series with Australia, but he urged his players to take control in conditions they are familiar with.

“The most important thing for us is that these are our own conditions, we’re very comfortable here and we know what type of cricket we need to play in most conditions over here,” he said.

“We need to use our advantage over the course of this summer. Like any tour you go away on, the opposition have an in-built advantage. It’s important to use that advantage.”

Tim Bresnan was earlier drafted into England’s 12-man squad for ankle injury victim Ajmal Shahzad. The likelihood is, though, that Steven Finn, James Anderson and Stuart Broad will form the bowling attack along with off-spinner Graeme Swann.

Pakistan, after playing in front of mostly empty seats against Australia, will be met by much bigger crowds at Trent Bridge as 10,500 seats have been sold in advance for day one with the second and third days sold out.

Teams: England (from): Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan.

Pakistan (from): Salman Butt (captain), Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Asif, Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Hameed.

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