Mark Wood has admitted the attempted assassination of the former Pakistan prime minister – and former captain of the national cricket team – Imran Khan on Thursday is a cause for concern but the England and Wales Cricket Board has no immediate plans to abandon their forthcoming Test tour of the country.
Wood is a member of the squad due to arrive in Pakistan later this month and was also in the white-ball squad that travelled to play seven Twenty20 internationals in October, their first games in the country for 17 years. On that occasion the players were surrounded throughout by military protection, but the tour proceeded without incident and was considered a great success.
“From the security we had then I can only mention what we came across, and it was fantastic,” Wood said. “We were looked after really well, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried because you’re going back there when there’s been trouble. If you break it down and think what it was like when we were there it was pretty good for us, we were looked after really well.
“So it’ll be for people above me to decide whatever happens. But obviously it’s worrying when you’re going back there as a cricketer and there’s unrest in the country, but that’s for their country to deal with. We trust our security guys so if they say it’s all fine then we go, but I don’t know if this changes it.”
Pakistan did not host a Test match for a decade after the terrorist attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009 in which eight people were killed and many injured, including several Sri Lanka players and match officials, but teams have gradually started to return. Australia played three Tests, three ODIs and a T20 there this year, their first visit since 1998. England are scheduled to play three Tests between 1-21 December, in Rawalpindi – which is about 100 miles away from Wazirabad, the scene of Thursday’s attack – Multan and Karachi.