The PCB-Pakistan Cricket Board recently released the schedule for the Men’s National Cricket Team for the year 2020-21.
The National Team will play a total of 20 T20Is, 9 test matches and 6 ODIs in addition to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 and the Asia Cup 2020, in this period.
The fixtures have been planned to commence from the month of July this year and shall continue till April 2020. However, the experts at Allsportspk have deduced that the matches planned in or close to July 2020, have less probability of being held. It is mainly due the fact that most of the planned fixtures during this time period, are scheduled to take place in United Kingdom where the corona virus is widespread. At the time of this piece the total registered cases are 229,750 in the United Kingdom, which makes it the third highest affected country.
According to PCB , the Pakistan tour starts against the Irish National Cricket Team in July 2020. As per the report, the Irish side will be hosting this series of two T20 internationals.
In the last four matches that these two teams have played against each other, Pakistan was able to convincingly win all four matches.
After Ireland series, the Pakistani team will start the English tour and play three tests and three T20 internationals. The last time the two teams met, in May 2019, the English team was able to whitewash both the ODI and T20 series.
The third and one of the most-awaited events that the team shall participate in is the Asia Cup 2020. The ACC-Asian Cricket Council had announced in May 2019, that Pakistan will be hosting this year’s Asia Cup, but the BCCI-Board of Control of Cricket in India, had announced to not participate as long as it was being held in Pakistan. The Indian Cricket Team was the winner of the previous Asia Cup and their non-participation might be unacceptable to cricket fans. Hence, Pakistan may host the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates, but no official decision has been made yet. Although, being held in UAE is also questionable again due to being among the affected COVID 19 countires.
The South African tour commences after the Asia Cup, between September and October 2020. In first leg South Africa will host the tour, and in second part between January and February 2021, the matches will be played in Pakistan. T20 and an ODI series will be played during September-October and a test and a T20 series in January – February. The two teams met in the ICC World Cup the last time and the Pakistani Team was able to secure a win by 49 runs.
Other than that, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 is scheduled to take place during October 2020 in Australia. A total of sixteen teams shall be participating. Pakistan is placed in Group 1 and will face the West Indies-the current champions, Australia, New Zealand and two other teams which are TBD-to be decided. The final is planned to be held in Melbourne, Australia.
According to the tour schedule, during November 2020 Zimbabwe will first visit Pakistan to play ODI as well as a T20 series. Further, the Pakistani Cricket Team, in April 2021, will tour Zimbabwe to play a test and a T20 series. The last time these two teams met was in July 2018 where the Pakistan team whitewashed the Zimbabwe Cricket Team in an ODI series in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
During 2020 the last encounter will be during November and December with the New Zealand team. The teams shall play a test and a T20 series. The two teams last met in England, in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The Pakistan side, headed by Sarfaraz Ahmed, ended the undefeated streak of the Black Caps.
Along with the agenda of the Pakistani Cricket Team’s commitments, the PCB has also issued a players contract list who shall be playing during the 2020-21 tours. The selected 18 players placed in four different categories are:
- Azhar Ali
- Babar Azam
- Shaheen Shah Afridi
- Abid Ali
- Asad Shafiq
- Haris Sohail
- Mohammad Abbas
- Mohammad Rizwan
- Sarfaraz Ahmed
- Shadab Khan
- Shan Masood
- Yasir Shah
- Fakhar Zaman
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Imad Wasim
- Naseem Shah
- Usman Shinwari
- Haider Ali
- Haris Rauf
- Mohammad Hasnain