The second series to be played between the two countries in Pakistan was drawn, none of the three Test matches reaching a conclusion, but the cricket played was made irrelevant by civil disturbances of a most threatening kind.
This tour was a hurriedly arranged replacement for the cancelled visit to South Africa and, years later, it is easy to see that it should never have taken place with Pakistan in the throes of revolution. The Ceylon tour, cooked up because financial arrangements for a short Indian tour collapsed, was a serene ten-day interval before the chaos of PakistanThe players came to no harm but they were continually at risk as law and order broke down, a situation that eventually led to civil war.
While the manager was unflappable, he could never be certain of a safe passage through the country with riots and demonstrations going on, but the Pakistan Board and High Commission officials persuaded M.C.C. not to abandon the tour until the third day of the final Test at Karachi got completely out-of-hand when rioters stormed into the ground. Fortunately, the team was able to get on the first flight out of Karachi.
Unavailable : Ray Illingworth and Barry Knight (ruled out by M.C.C. for publishing articles without permission)
Tour party announced :2 December 1968.
The team was the same as that selected for South Africa
Withdrawn:Geoff Boycott (he withdrew on 6 October fearing the health risks after having his spleen removed). Then Ken Barrington withdrew on 18 October (having suffered a mild heart attack in Australia).On 2 December it was announced that Robin Hobbs alone would replace the two batsmen, and the team was reduced to a squad of fiteen.
Not selected:Colin Milburn was named as reserve, but was not available for the whole tour because of an agreement to play for Western Australia.
Time between selection and departure from England
(2 December - 21 January
Holding their souvenir razors and foam from sponsors Gillette, the team flew from London Airport on 21 January 1969, arriving in Colombo the next day.
M.C.C were due to fly to East Pakistan on 3 February and play at Chittagong next day, and then in the first Test at Dacca on 8 February, but this part of the tour was cancelled because of rioting.
After the Ceylon tour, they flew out of Katunayeke at 10:15 am on 2 February to Karachi.
Time spent in Pakistan
(2 February - 8 March)
On-tour selection panel
Colin Cowdrey (captain), Tom Graveney (vice-captain), Les Ames (manager)
Colin Milburn was playing for Western Australia. He flew into Dacca when Cowdrey's fitness was in doubt.
Jeff Jones flew home early from Karachi on 3 February with an elbow injury. There was no replacement.
Colombo Oval later became the P Saravannamuttu Stadium (PSS)
Jeff Jones flew home early from Karachi on 3 February with an elbow injury.
Colin Cowdrey also returned home slightly earlier than the rest of the team on the death of his father-in-law.
The Test match was abandoned as a draw when a mob, furious that cricket was being played on a day marked for remembrance of those killed in the recent political riots, stormed into Karachi’s National Stadium.
The team's plane took off from Quaid-e-Azam Airport, Karachi, on the evening of 8 March and flew via Cairo, Rome and Paris (being delayed at each stop) to Heathrow Airport, London.
Time away from England
(21 January - 9 March)
“The South African trip was a long one, around four months, but the MCC decided to pay the players the same amount for the six-week trip to Ceylon and Pakistan, making it well worth their while to go.”Martin Chandler (2010)
The tour was guaranteed for £5000 by the Burmah Oil Company
Accounts of the Tour
“The Forgotten Tour”by Martin Chandler (2010)http://www.cricketweb.net/blog/features/264.php