Chris Jordan believes spectators in Karachi will be “overjoyed” to see England play on Pakistan soil for the first time in 17 years.
England face Pakistan in the first of seven Twenty20 matches and as part of the country’s return to the international scene since the end of a decade-long absence that followed the terror attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009. England cancelled a first visit there since 2005 last year but are now in situ and are likely to be greeted by a sell out crowd of 35,000 spectators at Karachi’s National Stadium on Tuesday.
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 home 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 Brendon McCullum, the current England Test coach, opted out. The seamer has since been back to play in three more editions of the tournament and feels sure England’s presence in Pakistan represents a huge moment for the nation.
“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,” Jordan said. “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.
“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 should be fit in time to join England’s squad for their tour of Australia next month. “I’m tracking pretty well, it’s been about four weeks since the injury and the splint comes off in a few days,” said the 33-year-old. “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.”
England’s Test squad will travel to Pakistan in December for a three-match series.