Pak-England cricket series important for both teams ahead of World Cup in Australia

Opinion Sep, 22 2022
Pak-England cricket series important for both teams ahead of World Cup in Australia
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The England cricket team is playing a series of matches in Pakistan after 17 years, two or more months before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia. It should be remembered that in 2020 when the world was in the grip of the Corona Virus and the ravages of the Corona Virus were continuing, Pakistan Cricket Team visited England to boost their skills and to save the England Cricket Board from bankruptcy.

But there was no end to the surprise when the England cricket team refused the scheduled tour of Pakistan when the New Zealand team left the tour of Pakistan incomplete and returned home citing security concerns on an unknown and fake email. After which the fans of the cricket world expressed their displeasure not only to New Zealand but also to the non-serious attitude of the England cricket team and the cancellation of the scheduled tour of Pakistan. However, in the first stage, the England cricket team is playing a series of four T20 matches in Karachi, while three T20 matches are being played in Lahore.

Though as the captain of the England cricket team, Jos Buttler attended the conference, but the most likely possibility was that he might not be able to play due to physical fitness issues. Moeen Ali was fully fit to lead the team under these circumstances. The squad that was announced for the series against England consists of the following players: Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan (VC), Aamir Jamal, Abrar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood and Usman Qadir.

While the England team for the tour of Pakistan is as follows: Jos Buttler (C), Moeen Ali (VC), Harry Brook, Jordan Cox, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Olly Stone, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Luke Wood, Mark Wood. It should be noted that the England cricket team had previously visited Pakistan in 2005-6 in which three Tests and five one-day matches were played. In the first match of the series, Pakistan defeated the England team by twenty-two runs. In this match, Salman Butt scored 74 runs in the first innings and 122 runs in the second innings.

In this match, especially Inzamam-ul-Haq had a century in both the innings, while in the third Test, the Pakistan team was able to win the innings by 100 runs. In the third test match, Pakistan scored 688 runs for the loss of eight wickets and declared the innings. The highlight of this match was Muhammad Yusuf's double century. While in the first match of the one-day series in this tour, Pakistan faced defeat by England team by 42 runs. However, in the second one-day international match, Pakistan won by seven wickets. Kamran Akmal scored a century and Shoaib Akhtar played an important role in the victory by taking five wickets. In the third ODI also, Kamran Akmal was able to score a century again and Pakistan won the match by 165 runs. Pakistan team also managed to win the fourth one-day match by 13 runs. Inzamam-ul-Haq played an important role in the success by scoring 81 runs.  England won the fifth ODI series.

On behalf of the England team, James Anderson played a key role in getting five wickets.  Pakistan managed to win the five ODI series by winning 3 matches.  It should be noted that the England team visited Pakistan for the first time in 1961-62 when they were able to win their first test by five wickets. Javed Barki played an innings of 138 runs in this match, but the Pakistani team could not avoid defeat. Meanwhile, the second and third Tests ended in a tie. In the second Test, Javed Barki once again scored 140 runs with a century. Little Master Hanif Muhammad scored 104 runs. In the third test match, Aleemuddin managed to score 109 runs. In 1968-69, the England team's tour of Pakistan ended in a draw, while in 1972-1973, the England team was forced to play all three Tests in a tie.

In this series, Mushtaq Muhammad showed his batting magic and scored 157 and 99 runs while Sadiq Muhammad managed to play a brilliant innings of 119. In 1989, Pakistan's England team played three Tests and three one-day internationals, and the Tests ended in a draw. In the first one-day match, England team was able to win by three wickets by Haroon Rasheed with a brilliant batting performance. In this match, Javed Miandad scored 77 runs which did not work for the team. The England team was able to win the second ODI by 6 wickets, but Pakistan won the third ODI by 36 runs. In 1983-84, England toured Pakistan in three Tests and two one-day matches. Meanwhile, for the first time, Pakistan defeated the England team in the first match of the home Test series.

Pakistan won this Test by three wickets, during which Abdul Qadir was able to take five wickets while Saleem Malik played an important role in the victory by scoring 74 runs. However, the second and third Test ended in a draw. During this series, Pakistan won the first one-day match by six wickets, while England also won the second match by six wickets. In 1987 and 1988, the England team played three Tests and three one-day matches. In the one-day series, the England team made a clean sweep, while the test series was 0-1 in the name of Pakistan. England team won the first match in Lahore by an innings and 87 runs.

Mudassar Nazar was able to score a brilliant 120 runs. Abdul Qadir took nine wickets in the first innings and four in the second innings. His performance was historic while the remaining two Tests ended in a draw. Between 2001-02, the England team defeated Pakistan by 5 wickets in the first ODI, but the Pakistani team was able to win the next two matches by 8 wickets and then 7 wickets respectively. The highlight of the third match was Saqlain Mushtaq's five-wicket haul, while the initial matches of the Test series ended in a draw, while England won by six wickets in the third Test. 

The current England team, which is touring Pakistan once again after seventy years, is a strong team. All the players except Jos Buttler are super fit and are hoping to perform well. On the other hand, the Pakistan team is fighting the England team with renewed determination after losing unexpectedly on important occasions in the Asia Cup and earlier in the T20 World Cup. This series is of great importance for both the teams ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia. The winning team will surely enter the World Cup with relatively high confidence. It is to be seen which team will win this series.

Published in The Daily National Courier, September, 22 2022

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