Pakistan, Ireland set to go toe-to-toe in inaugural T20I series tomorrow

By Newsdesk May9,2024

The Pakistan men’s cricket team will kick off its Europe tour with the first of three T20Is against Ireland on Friday. The remaining two matches will also take place at the Castle Avenue on Sunday and Tuesday, before the team heads to Headingley, Leeds, on Wednesday for a series of four T20Is against England.

Following the England series, with matches scheduled at Headingley (22 May), Birmingham (25 May), Cardiff (28 May), and The Oval, London (30 May), both England and Pakistan will head to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. England will face Scotland in Barbados on 4 June in their opening match, while Pakistan will launch their campaign against the USA in Dallas on 6 June.

This marks the first time Ireland will host Pakistan for a T20I series. The two sides have previously met only once in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2009 where Pakistan won by 39 runs with Kamran Akmal receiving the player of the match award for his 51-ball 57 and two stumpings.

Interestingly, both teams are in the same group for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and will face each other in Florida on 16 June. Apart from the two sides, India, USA, and Canada are also in the same group, with the top two teams advancing to the second stage.

Pakistan head coach, Azhar Mahmood:

“Our preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 began with the home series against New Zealand and now it’s all about putting the final touches on those preparations. We have clarity on our game plans, strategies and combinations. It’s about bringing everything together before we arrive in the United States.

“We’ve only played Ireland once, so they will be a relatively new opponent for us. However, any team in T20 cricket can be dangerous as the match can swing in one over. The three T20Is will provide us with good information about their players and how they approach T20 cricket.”

Meanwhile, fast bowler Mohammad Amir will miss the first T20I due to delays in the issuance of his visa. He is expected to join the side on Friday.

Squads (to be selected from):

Ireland: Paul Stirling (captain), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir (unavailable for first T20I), Mohammad Rizwan, Muhammad Irfan Khan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Khan.

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