England vs Pakistan 1st Test match: UK start time, how to watch on TV, squads and weather
England’s Test cricket side are back in action later this week
and live on Freeview channel 276
England are preparing to take on Pakistan in their first Test tour of the country since 2005 this week. Ben Stokes’ side will play three Tests only a matter of weeks since their first was called to be moved due from Rawalpindi to Karachi due to political tensions in the area.
International sides avoid playing in Pakistan for some time due to security concerns, but England returned in September to play seven T20 matches without any trouble. They now look to resume action in Pakistan a year after calling off their tour of the South Asian country.
Prior to travelling to Pakistan, Stokes said: “It’s been a long time since England have played test cricket in Pakistan. “With what happened with Imran Khan recently, there was a little bit of concern, but we have Reg Dickason, who has been the security man for many years with England, and we left it in his capable hands.”
Here is everything you need to know about the first Test...
When is England vs Pakistan first Test?
Stokes will lead his England side into the first Test from Thursday December 1 and the match will be concluded up to four days later on Monday December 5. It will commence at 5am (GMT) on Thursday morning.
The second Test will get underway next week, beginning on Friday December 9, while third and final Test will begin on Saturday December 17 and will bring the tour to a close before Christmas.
Where is England vs Pakistan first Test?
The first Test will be played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi. The venue has a 15,000 capacity and is just 20 minutes from where England are staying in Islamabad.
Multan Cricket Stadium will host the second Test which is much bigger and holds 35,000 people, before the tour will conclude at the National Stadium in Karachi.
How to watch England vs Pakistan on TV
All coverage of the tour will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. Each Test is scheduled for a 5am start and build up will begin each at 4:30am on Sky Sports Cricket. You will need a Sky Sports membership to catch all of the action, which costs around £46 per month and can be live streamed on Sky Go. NOW TV also offer daily passes to access Sky Sports which will set you back £11.98.
England squad and team news
England are expected to bring in some fresh faces for the first Test against Pakistan. Keaton Jennings, Liam Livingstone and Will Jacks are included in the squad, while Harry Brook and Ben Duckett have kept their places in the squad - the latter could be set to partner Zak Crawley following the dropping of Alex Lees. Meanwhile, Brook could look to fill the boots of Jonny Bairstow after the 33-year-old broke his leg in October.
Teenage sensation Rehan Ahmed has also received a late call-up to bolster their spinning options. The 18-year-old has taken nine wickets in his three first-class games and is highly rated, with many calling for him to make his debut in Rawalpindi.
- England squad in full: Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Joe Root, James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Rehan Ahmed.
- Pakistan squad in full: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc & wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood.
England will be set for sunny and cloudy weather as they begin the first Test later this week, with highs of 24 degrees celcius and lows of nine degrees as they get underway in the morning. Their third Test in Karachi will see increasing temperatures, with the city potentially reaching highs of 30 degrees.