ISLAMABAD, Oct 26 (AFP): England's cricket team finally flew into Pakistan early Wednesday for a 58-day tour which ran into trouble over security fears and the devastating South Asian earthquake.
The 14-man squad led by Michael Vaughan and officials were greeted by tight security of around 150 police and commandos who had cordoned off the airport VIP lounge, from where the team was whisked off to a hotel in 20 minutes.
England's tour itinerary was only finalised after they rejected playing a Test in violence-plagued Karachi and only agreed to play a limited overs international in the southern port city.
The region's major earthquake, which killed at least 53,000 people and left millions homeless, also cast doubts over the tour earlier this month.
Two members of the squad - allrounder Andrew Flintoff and pacer Steve Harmison - will arrive next week. They are now in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to raise quake relief funds.
England, who beat Australia 2-1 to win the Ashes after 18 years, will open their tour with a three-day side match against Pakistan at the Cricket Board Patron's XI at Rawalpindi from October 31.
They then play another warm-up match in Lahore from November 6 before the first Test starts in Multan on November 12.
The second Test will be played at Faisalabad (November 20-24) and the third in Lahore (November 29-December 3).
The five one-day games are scheduled in Lahore (December 10 and 12), Karachi (December 15) and Rawalpindi (December 19 and 21).