English cricket commentator Rob Key while confessing his wrong perception regarding Pakistan has recommended England to tour Pakistan for T20’s and test matches.
In September 2021, England’s cricketers refused to travel for matches in Pakistan because of what they said were security concerns.
In a piece written from Pakistan to Evening Standard, Key said: I am lucky enough to be writing this from Pakistan, where I am commentating on their Test series against Australia.
“I’m having a wonderful time and have to confess that I simply cannot believe how wrong I was about this country. I’ve loved it. I had never been as a player — England U19s came the year before my age group and I wasn’t in the squad in 2005, when we last visited — and, if I am completely honest, my expectations were low when the opportunity for this trip arose,” the English commentator said.
He said that “What I imagined was similar to many others’ perceptions in the West, I think. I was picturing seeing little beyond a cricket ground, a hotel and some traffic. For context, I am no Bill Bryson. I have been lucky enough to go all over the world with cricket, but I have generally been one of the least interested people in travel you could imagine. I am a complete philistine and know next to nothing about culture or history.”
“I was once within a few minutes of the Taj Mahal and couldn’t be bothered to visit. People have shown me pictures of their safari holiday and I’ve said, ‘Great, I could have Googled a picture of a lion’. It’s barely exaggerating to say that nowhere has impressed me more than Beckenham, where I grew up. In my book, the seven wonders of the world include WhatsApp, AirPods and the driver in my golf bag,” he said.
Key further said: “But Pakistan has completely blown me away. Of course, I can’t claim to have seen the whole country, but we’ve been to three cities (Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore) and they have all been stunning in different ways. We’ve eaten in seven or eight of the best restaurants I’ve been to, enjoying both local and international cuisine, the buildings are incredible and we’ve played some sensational golf.”
“Best of all has been the people and the hospitality provided. Whether it’s been my colleagues in the commentary box or fans in the stand, I have come across the kindest, most welcoming and gracious hosts I’ve ever experienced. The cricket has been decent, too. The logistics and organisation involved in running Pakistan cricket (just like the rest of society here) is hugely impressive, and the team itself — with the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi — is great fun to watch” Key said.
He further said that England haven’t visited since 2005, and really should have done last year. They can put that right this year with trips for T20s and Tests. It’s been awesome to see so many fans following the team in the Caribbean, but I would wholeheartedly recommend coming here for a tour. For me, it’s had to be seen to be believed.