England's Men's Test team have arrived in Islamabad ahead of their first Test series on Pakistan soil in 17 years.
Skipper Ben Stokes and 15 of his teammates touched down in Pakistan on Saturday and were given a warm welcome by local authorities ahead of the three-match series that commences in Rawalpindi on December 1.
While England played a seven-match T20I series in Pakistan prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, this three-match Test series will be the first time the two sides have played a red-ball fixture in the country since 2005.
The series is part of the current World Test Championship period and Pakistan are still in contention to win a place at next year's final at The Oval.
Babar Azam's side sit in fifth place on the World Test Championship standings and have upcoming series at home against England and New Zealand to boost their chances of a top two finish and to earn a place at next year's decider.
England are out of contention for a spot in the final, with their disastrous Ashes series in Australia at the end of last year and a disappointing series of the West Indies in March leaving them with too much to do to remain in the mix.
Touchdown in Pakistan for our Men’s Test squad! 🇵🇰 pic.twitter.com/2GbRr1Xcw1— England Cricket (@englandcricket) November 26, 2022
They have bounced back to some of their best form in recent times, with series triumphs at home over New Zealand and South Africa helping them commence a new era under Kiwi coach Brendon McCullum.
England are keeping a close eye on the fitness of Mark Wood, with the pace spearhead still battling the hip injury that saw him miss the final of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan in Melbourne.
Hello Pakistan 🇵🇰— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) November 26, 2022
For Stokes, the tour is his first visit to Pakistan and something the 31-year-old is eagerly looking forward to.
"In terms of the tour itself, I'm really looking forward to it," Stokes said.
"We know what the sub-continent feels about the cricket, it's a huge part of their life, and we're looking forward to going out there."
England squad: Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood, Rehan Ahmed.
First Test, Rawalpindi, December 1-5
Second Test, Karachi, December 9-13
Third Test, Multan, December 17-21