Chris Jordan predicts cricket fans in Karachi will be “overjoyed” to welcome England on Tuesday, when they compete on Pakistani soil for the first time in 17 years.
International fixtures have gradually returned to the country since the end of a decade-long absence that followed the terror attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009, with England finally embarking on their own landmark trip having cancelled a planned visit last year.
The 35,000-capacity National Stadium is sure to be teeming with excitement when it hosts the first of seven Twenty20s between the sides and, although a fractured finger means he will be watching from afar, Jordan knows better than most what to expect.
When the Pakistan Super League returned to home soil for the first time for the 2017 final, he and Dawid Malan agreed to make the journey with Peshawar Zalmi, while other overseas players including Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and current England Test coach Brendon McCullum opted out.
He has since been back to play in three more editions of the tournament and believes England’s presence will bring a big sense of occasion.
“The guys should expect a very warm welcome, the fans there will be overjoyed to see some of the stars they’ve only ever seen from a distance,” he told the PA news agency.
“They have been very much looking forward to this day for quite some time in Pakistan. It should be loud and it should be a great atmosphere. The passion for cricket is burning deep over there.”
Jordan recalls his own decision to participate in the PSL final at Lahore five years ago with pride, stressing the importance of supporting cricket in the region.
“It was an opportunity to take your self out of it a little bit, think about Pakistan as a nation and how it was starved of international cricket for so long. The itinerary and the security details were laid out really well and I was more than happy to jump on a plane and experience something new.
“It’s important for the Pakistani players to represent their country at home and it’s super important to support them. Players should feel responsibility to support their fellow colleagues; we’re all living as human beings trying to make it in a world that sometimes doesn’t always make sense.
“Cricket is no different in that respect, any chance you have to go and experience something else that can boost the game of cricket as a whole is important.”
Jordan is due to join the England squad in Australia and, fitness allowing, is set for a senior role in the pace attack.
“I’m tracking pretty well, it’s been about four weeks since the injury and the splint comes off in a few days,” he said.
“Then it’s about getting movement in the joint, releasing the ball well. In the meantime I’m just topping up my strength work so I’m not too far behind when I’m back.”
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