Australian cricket team to tour Pakistan for first time in 24 years in 2022

Cricket Australia will push ahead with the first tour of Pakistan in 24 years, with chief executive Nick Hockley insistent he wants the trip in March to go ahead.

Key points:

  • Security concerns have meant many matches have been played in the United Arab Emirates
  • But international cricket has returned in recent years since the bombing of Sri Lanka's team bus in 2009
  • Australia's last match in Pakistan was in 1998

The Pakistan Cricket Board moved one step closer to hosting Australia's men's side, with the two boards agreeing to a tour schedule.

Australia are slated to play Tests in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore in March, as well as three ODIs and a Twenty20 match.

Australia have not played in Pakistan since Mark Taylor hit an unbeaten 334 in Peshawar in 1998, with security concerns meaning all tours since have been played in the UAE.

International cricket returned to the country in recent years for the first time since the 2009 bombing of the Sri Lanka team bus, but New Zealand's withdrawal from a tour in September had clouded that.

At the time New Zealand Cricket claimed it had seen a "specific and credible threat against the team" on the morning of the first ODI.

England also withdrew from a subsequent tour, bringing into serious question Australia's trip to the country at the start of next year.

But Australia are adamant they want to tour, in the biggest step towards a return to the country since former chief executive Kevin Roberts' visit there in 2019.

"We will work over the next three months, we're going to be doing a [reconnaissance] over to Pakistan," Hockley told AAP.

"We will be working with all the relevant agencies to do our due diligence to make sure security programs are in place.

"As is the case with any tour, the tour remains subject to all of those plans being in place.

"But certainly, there is really strong intent to want to go. International touring has resumed there.

"But as we always do, we will put the safety and wellbeing of players and staff as number one priority."

The matches will also mark Australia's first Tests overseas since the Ashes in 2019, with tours of South Africa and Bangladesh postponed due to COVID-19.

The news comes ahead of Australia's semi-final clash with Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup, in the biggest game between the two teams in more than a decade.

Hockley and new interim CA chairman Richard Freudenstein will travel to Dubai on Tuesday night for high-powered ICC meetings to finish the tournament.

The tour of Pakistan will no doubt be front and centre in some talks, with former PCB chief executive Wasim Khan critical of Australia's decision not to play ODIs there in 2019.

Australia would also be expected to speak to New Zealand officials about their withdrawal.

"We are in regular contact with all the other member countries," Hockley said.

"We're all working to make sure international cricket can continue and can thrive. We'll work over the next three months.

"The work over the next three months is to satisfy ourselves to make sure all the plans are in place to make sure everyone is safe."

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Australia confirm first tour of Pakistan in 24 years

Pakistan Cricket Board and Cricket Australia have announced the revised itinerary of the 2022 Australia men’s cricket team’s tour of Pakistan.

The series which will start on March 4 includes three Tests, three ODIs and a one-off T20I.

The schedule was revised to ease the logistical and operational challenges as well as to avoid ‘Pakistan Day’ rehearsals, which usually commence in Islamabad in the second week of March.

As per the new schedule, the series will now start and end in Rawalpindi with the opening Test match to be played from March 4-8, followed by the other two Tests.

Earlier the first Test was scheduled to be played in Karachi from March 3 but because of a change in the venue, the second match will now be played in Karachi from March 12-16 and the third in Lahore from March 21-25.

The limited-overs matches will be played from March 29 to April 5. Rawalpindi will be hosting all the three ODIs scheduled to be played on March 29, March 31 and April 2 respectively. The tour will end with a one-off T20I to be played at Rawalpindi on March 5.

Our Aussie men are headed to Pakistan ✈️ It will be the first time our Australian men's team have toured Pakistan since 1998! #AUSvPAK — Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) February 4, 2022

“We are pleased that the Cricket Australia Board has formally approved their side’s five-week tour itinerary and confirmed that their best available players will visit Pakistan for the first time in 24 years. We are really excited to host Pat Cummins and his players, and look forward to a competitive series that will comprise three Tests, three ODIs and a T20I,” PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain said in a statement.

“While Australia will arrive at the back of strong performances in their home series against England, our team has been playing excellent cricket resulting in our players sweeping the ICC Awards. This braces for a keenly contested series, something that the fans will thoroughly enjoy and remember for a long time,” he added.

The Australian team will arrive in Islamabad through a chartered flight on February 27. The boards have also decided that the Australian players will complete their mandatory isolation in their home country, before heading to Pakistan. After one-day room isolation in Pakistan, the Australian players will be allowed to take part in training sessions at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

The limited-overs players are expected to arrive in Lahore on March 24 and will also be following the same isolation process. The Australian team will then be travelling to Islamabad for the first ODI in Rawalpindi on March 29.

The three test matches will be part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs are linked to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League from which the top eight sides, including hosts India, will qualify directly for the 2023 50-over World Cup.

Revised schedule:

4-8 March – 1st Test, Rawalpindi

12-16 March – 2nd Test, Karachi

21-25 March – 3rd Test, Lahore

29 March – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi

31 March – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi

2 April – 3rd ODI, Rawalpindi

5 April – one-off T20I, Rawalpindi

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Cricket: Australia arrive in Pakistan for first tour in 24 years

Australian team begins first tour of the South Asian country in nearly quarter of a century amid tight security for their six-week stay.

Vehicles carrying Australian cricket team pass by in Islamabad,

Australia’s cricket team has flown into Pakistan on their first tour of the country in nearly a quarter of a century – and into a security bubble that will envelop them throughout their six-week stay.

Pakistan have struggled to attract visiting sides since a fatal terror attack on the visiting Sri Lanka team’s bus in 2009.

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Australia pulled out of a tour five years earlier after a suicide blast at a Lahore church.

They last played in Pakistan in 1998, winning a three-Test series 1-0 and blanking the hosts in the three one-day internationals.

“They have landed,” a Pakistani security official said while Australia batsman Steve Smith posted a picture on Twitter saying the team had arrived.

Arrived in 🇵🇰 — Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) February 27, 2022

Australia will play three Tests, three one-day internationals, and one Twenty20 match before leaving on April 6.

Having been forced to play their home games abroad – mainly in the United Arab Emirates – Pakistan appeared to have reassured international cricket authorities last year, with both New Zealand and England scheduled to tour.

But the Black Caps hastily departed in September just minutes before their first match was due to start, citing security fears. England postponed tours by their men’s and women’s teams soon after.

The decisions incensed Pakistan cricket authorities, who felt they had done everything possible to ensure safety and security.

They say they are again leaving nothing to chance, with nearly 4,000 police and military personnel guarding the team hotel in Islamabad and the cricket stadium in the nearby garrison city of Rawalpindi.

‘Head of state-level’ protection

“The squad will be given ‘head of state-level security’,” a spokesman for Pakistan’s interior ministry told the AFP news agency.

“Such arrangements are only made for high-level foreign delegations, [and] the president and prime minister of Pakistan.”

Roads will be blocked off when the Australians make the 15km (9-mile) commute, with their team bus shadowed by army helicopters.

Snipers will be positioned on buildings surrounding the stadium, while nearby shops and offices have been ordered to close on match days, the interior ministry said.

Similar arrangements will be in place for matches in Karachi and Lahore.

The Australians will be confined to quarters for 24 hours after arrival for COVID-19 tests, before intense training ahead of the first Test starting March 4.

“We’ve got to a place where everyone hopping on the plane is comfortable with where it’s all sitting,” Australian skipper Pat Cummins said ahead of the team’s departure from Sydney.

“It’s been a really thorough body of work that the security and the logistics teams have worked through.”

Almost half of Pakistan’s 220 million people were not even born the last time Australia toured, but stadiums are expected to be packed as the country emerges relatively unscathed from the Omicron stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan are due to host eight Tests, 11 ODIs and 13 Twenty20 internationals in the next 13 months.

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Mark Taylor

The Joy of Six – Australian tours of Pakistan

From dubious umpiring to raging turners to Mark Taylor’s 334 not out, look back on Australia’s cricket tours of Pakistan

1. The ‘other’ Pakistan

I can only speak for myself here, but when I was young and learning to love cricket, I appreciated on some subconscious level that there was two distinct types of Pakistan team. The first was the one that regularly toured Australian shores (oh for those days again); the one which always brimmed with an intoxicating blend of sublimely skilled superstars, mercurial and frustrating talents, mystery spinners who may or may not have been north of 40 years old (despite the protestations of the tour guide that they were in fact 28) and then at the other end of the spectrum, often a 17-year-old who looked at least 25.

Their birthdates were even more flexible than the wrists of the spinners, we spelled their names wrong or else pronounced them incorrectly and marveled that the earth contained so many people with at least two Qs in their name. These Pakistan teams that we saw with our own eyes or on Channel 9’s telecasts were easy to fall in love with for they were loaded with unconventional talent and an abundance of memorable characters like Imran, Sarfraz, Qasim, Ijaz, Wasim, Waqar, Saeed, plus all those Mushtaqs and Mohammads. And Mushtaq Mohammad.

The other type of Pakistan team was the one Australia faced on foreign soil in games that would never be broadcast in Australia. Though mostly made up of the same players, we didn’t truly know this team because we didn’t see it. We heard about it, we read about it and we gossiped about it, but we didn’t know it.

Pakistan ‘away’ took on different, usually cartoonishly devious character traits. Player autobiographies, the parochial Australian press and perhaps most evocatively, the good old-fashioned grapevine, told us that on their home soil Pakistan were sly, deceptive and in some cases downright dodgy. We couldn’t see their umpire in action but hey, look at the LBWs on that scorecard, they must be on the take.

Fortunately for the sake of international relations, the birth of satellite TV brought with it a glorious and previously untapped stream of overseas cricket, one that coincided with the introduction of neutral umpires in the Test arena. Personally I wouldn’t have minded seeing umpire Mahboob Shah’s interpretations of delirious Australian appeals against Javed Miandad, but the fact that we never did and never will (even home broadcasts in Pakistan often eschewed replays of calls that looked even slightly contentious) adds a veneer of dark romance to those long-gone Tests in Karachi and Lahore and Faisalabad.

It’s safe to say that Australia’s record in Test tours to Pakistan (and it’s okay to hold out hope that one day the two teams will meet there again) is roughly what you’d expect given the proliferation of conspiracy theories: diabolical. The reality of that record is something far less interesting than the myths; Australia has just never been much chop on turning sub-continental wickets against any kind of spin.

Save for the 1998 tour, broadcast on Foxtel most fortuitously given Mark Taylor’s landmark, Bradman-nudging triple century (it was also Australia’s last Test trip to Pakistan itself), most of the “away” Tests we’ve seen on TV between the two sides have been on neutral territory like Sharjah, Dubai, various venues across the UK and even Sri Lanka. It really is one of the great shames of the past two decades of cricket.

Most of what follows are moments that Australian cricket lovers never saw with their own eyes, so we can only imagine them, read about them and listen to the war stories of those who performed them. In the case of the handful that were beamed down into our living rooms, we have morsels from which to ponder what we’ve been missing out on ever since.

2. 1980 – Border’s twin towers

If not the flickering flames of hell that India’s been for Australian touring sides of the post-war era, Pakistan has nevertheless presented itself as a kind of purgatory in which the odd smattering of individual success is the best that touring sides could hope for.

It was something of a reoccurring theme in Australian Test tours to Pakistan that a calamitous 1 st Test defeat on a raging turner would be followed by interminable bat-athons in the next two encounters, meaning Pakistan always seemed to take the series 1-0. The 1980 tour followed this template to the letter, with a hellish first-up pitch in Karachi providing a cakewalk for the home side. That pitch took so much turn that even the sturdy but unspectacular Australian spin pairing of Ray Bright and Greg Chappell combined for all 13 of the Pakistan’s wickets to fall.

Familiar tropes were everywhere, most noticeably that of the beaten-down and broken Australian paceman. At Karachi Australia’s new ball pairing of Dennis Lillee and Geoff Dymock went wicketless. Lillee’s tour was probably the worst of his career and produced just three wickets at cost of over 100 each.

Pakistan fulfilled their end of the cliché bargain with the selection of a mystery spinner when team manager Mushtaq Mohammad spotted 5’5” Tauseef Ahmed bowling in the nets in the lead-up to the Test and picked him on the strength of a whim and with only one first-class match to his name. Tauseef teamed up with Iqbal Qasim for 18 wickets for the match, slicing through Australia’s household names with ease. By the end the Australians might have preferred to have only had to withstand the hail of oranges that rained down on them from the stands.

The two drawn Test were damp squibs in comparison. The rain-affected draw in Faisalabad is worth mentioning only for double hundreds to both Greg Chappell and Taslim Arif and the statistical curio of Chappell deploying himself and all ten of his teammates as bowlers when Pakistan labored to 382 for 2 from 126 overs. Chappell himself took the wicketkeeping gloves from Marsh, allowing the latter to bowl ten wicketless overs. Sadly we’re likely never to be able to relive them.

Faisalabad contained one of Australian cricket’s greatest and most underappreciated solos, though, when 24-year-old Allan Border blasted two scores in excess of 150 in the rain-shortened stalemate. His second-innings 153 came from 184 balls, including 16 fours and 5 sixes. Perhaps it’s diminished slightly on account of the compliant pitch, but further novelty points are accrued for the fact that when he finally departed, Border was stumped in comedic style by temporary ‘keeper Javed Miandad. Australia had batted and batted and batted again, but by series’ end they came away with nothing. It wouldn’t be the last time.

Bonus: some grainy black and white footage does remain of Imran’s sprightly 56 in the first innings.

3. 1982 – Kim’s Calamity

Of all the short straws Kim Hughes drew in his career in the baggy green, none came with such spirit-sapping consequences as his appointment as skipper of Australia’s 1982 Pakistan tour, a six-week trip that regular captain Greg Chappell had given a wide berth for the sake of family and business interests. Hughes was without Dennis Lillee and Len Pascoe (both also withdrew) and Australia didn’t just lose the Tests 3-0, they and their stand-in skipper were comprehensively trounced. Losing being the habit it is, they didn’t win a single tour match either, only the second time for the century that Australia had been whitewashed on a Test tour.

The agitated tourists fought with their opposition, they fought with umpires (spoiler alert: this happens a bit from here) and also amongst themselves. At one stage Hughes had to intervene when umpire Mahboob Shah refused to return the cap of Geoff Lawson at the end of an over on account of an earlier outburst from the bowler. “I am as frustrated as I am disappointed,” said a resigned Hughes at one point. Not long into the tour he was under attack from all angles and not just behind closed doors; the trip coincided with an infamous and very public attack on Hughes’s leadership credentials by captaincy rival Rod Marsh in an interview with Playboy magazine.

Australia’s obstacles were classic Pakistan tour fare: stifling heat, stomach bugs and illnesses spreading through the ranks, dropped catches (nine in the first innings of the Karachi Test, no less, which led Hughes to conclude that he helmed the worst fielding side in world cricket), crowd projectiles (“people don’t deserve to see international cricket when they behave like this,” said Hughes after the abandonment of one of the one-day internationals), perceived umpiring slights and the one-man wrecking ball that was Abdul Qadir conspired to strangle the life out of Australia’s resistance.

For those playing at home, this tour also featured one of the more maddening, reoccuring though so far unheeded lessons of touring Pakistan: it’s probably not the best trip on which to embark after a six-month lay-off from Test action. Ringing any bells?

Another: the tendency of Australia’s spinners to look pedestrian on pitches their Pakistani counterparts had made to look like minefields. Intikhab Alam might well have spoke for generations of Australian fans when he noted the simplest and clearest gulf between the two sides in ‘82. “The trouble with your spinners is that they do not spin the ball.” The man probably had a point.

The Cricketer called it “Australia’s public flogging”. Wisden Cricket Monthly went with, “Aussies and a load of rubbish”. Others just left it at, “a massacre”. Other than Greg Ritchie’s undefeated century in Faisalabad, said Abdul Haye of the Pakistan Times, Australia were “gutless”. Mike Coward was no kinder, noting that the tourists had “neither the mental toughness nor the techniques to succeed here”.

Hughes might have been thrown to the wolves in all respects, but his appraisal of his side’s demise at the hands of Abdul Qadir and his spin wizardry also spoke volumes of Australia’s long-held ability to delude itself when sifting through the wreckage of these types of tours. “The difference between the two sides,” he said, “was a leg-spinner called Abdul Qadir, who brought some magic to the series.” By Hughes’s reckoning it was merely a case of Australia “play[ing] bad enough to lose”. The image of Aussie paceman Jeff Thomson kicking down the stumps in frustration at Lahore probably provided a far more fitting punctuation mark for a shambolic tour.

4. 1988 – Sour grapes and soured relations

If you wanted to draw upon a tour that typified every negative cliché about touring Pakistan, Australia’s ill-starred 1988 trip would be the one.

The script was classic if a little predictable: pre-tour swagger giving way to endless pratfalls in the face of the local spinners, but Australia’s internal struggles were well and truly drowned out by the allegations of home-town umpiring and pitch-doctoring that threw the entire tour into doubt. Again the Australian fielding was atrocious (we’ve long given Pakistan stick for this but a revision is probably due of Australia’s obscene dropped catch numbers in Pakistan away Tests). Thirteen drops in the first two Tests finished off what the batting collapses started.

It’s worth noting that the resumption of animosity between the Aussies and umpire Mahboob Shah was, along with the travails of Gatting’s England a year earlier , the kind of stain on the game’s image that heavily contributed to the introduction of neutral umpires. Still, it was no laughing matter when Border threatened to pack up his kit and take his men home in the wake of the first Test. After that game Australian team manager Col Egar, national coach Bob Simpson and Border each directly accused Shah of gross incompetence and the Karachi groundsman of tampering with the pitch.

Pakistan won by an innings and 188 runs in that opener on the back of Javed Miandad’s 211 before shutting up shop for the remaining rubbers. “Miandad played very well in between six or seven opportunities to get him out,” hissed a short-tempered Border.

The Aussie captain was actually a sound-bite machine on that trip. Here are some selected highlights:

  • “No matter what is said, people will say it’s sour grapes. But ultimately, someone has to take a stand [over Pakistan] cricket because it has been going on for too long. If we are the ones to cop it then so be it.”
  • After the first Test in Karachi: “The wicket was ridiculous and the decisions given against us were atrocious. We were never in with a chance. There is a conspiracy and we will not be able to win.”

So far, so diplomatic.

The visiting Australian press poured fuel on the fire, pointing to the fact that Pakistan batting hero Javed Miandad had only been adjudged LBW on four occasions in 63 Test innings at home, while away from Pakistan that number swelled to 20 from 81 innings. Former Test spinner Ashley Mallett went a step further still, arguing that Border’s men should have been “spared the indignity” of touring Pakistan at all. “On the Test stage Australians don’t whinge without a damned good reason,” he added, lest there be any doubt.

Pakistan’s reaction was equally acidic and did little to diffuse the situation. “Mahboob Shah is our best umpire, which they themselves have recognised during the final of the World Cup,” bristled BCCP secretary Arif Abbasi, “and now since they have lost the Test because of poor fielding and bad batting they are accusing the umpires. We will have none of this.”

Before the series had started, and eventually lost amid all of the controversy, was an equally unflattering look for Pakistan cricket when superstar captain Imran Khan basically took one look at the weather forecast and hit the snooze button, bypassing the Australian visit altogether. Miandad felt he could handle the heat and was temporarily handed the captaincy.

From an Australian perspective, that wretched trip is also notable for the introduction of future golden gloveman Ian Healy, who struggled so badly in dropping three catches that one Australian reporter noted, “his [debut] Test would have made lesser men burn their gloves”. Less fortunate was batsman Jamie Siddons, who missed a debut when he succumbed to illness (debilitating gastro that came after he made the diabolical decision to ice his warm beer in Quetta) and missed his only chance at the highest level.

Australia, too, would have to live with the disappointment of another frustrating series loss.

5. 1994 – the Karachi Heartbreaker and Flem’s debut hat-trick

For so long Australia had relied upon its skipper and batting bulwark Allan Border to deliver success, but Border’s international retirement at the conclusion of the 1994 trip to South Africa meant a changing of the guard in Australian ranks as Mark Taylor took the helm for the Pakistan tour of the same year. Much of the pre-tour focus fell on new skipper Taylor but it would be one of his trusted lieutenants who’d have the greatest say in the series result.

“Great cricketers are like banyan trees,” said former Pakistan veteran Majid Khan of the departed Border, “for those who relax under their comfortable shade generally get used to it. Once the tree is gone and those relaxing under it are exposed to the direct view of the sun, it takes some time to readjust.”

To start with Australia readjusted well. The traditional opening Test at Karachi could not have been much tighter but Taylor’s reign couldn’t have got off to a worse start in an individual sense: he bagged a pair and became the only Australian to do so in their first match in the top job. As fate would have it, a few extra runs might have reshaped the result of the game and series.

They didn’t know it in the moment, but if they squandered the first Test, Taylor’s men were effectively consigning themselves to series defeat because a pair of high scoring draws would follow. Karachi was where Australian hearts were broken though, and broken when victory had been in sight. Closing in on a first Australian Test win in Pakistan in some 35 years, with one wicket left to take and three runs to play with, eight-wicket hero Shane Warne enticed Inzamam ul-Haq forward for what looked like a game-winning stumping before the ball spat viciously out of the rough, straight past the hovering gloves of ‘keeper Ian Healy and raced away to the boundary for four byes.

Pakistan had snuck home by a wicket in a minor classic, and the same brutal surface that had welcomed fumbling debutant Healy six years earlier had again haunted the now-hardened veteran again.

For all that heartbreak, there was also the odd bright spot. Victorian swing bowler Damien Fleming broke through for a hat-trick on debut in Rawalpindi, one that included the wicket of double-centurion and recently scandalised Pakistan captain Salim Malik.

6. 1998 – Taylor goes Bradmanesque

Before the twilight years of Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting were upon us, it’s hard to remember a Test captain who was so maligned and subject to such endless speculation and examination as Mark Taylor in the year leading up to his magnum opus at Peshawar. Taylor’s undefeated 334, equal with Bradman in a numerical sense but entirely distinctive in its compilation, might now also be seen as the innings that sold a million air conditioners. It also went part of the way to securing a rare Australian series victory in the last series between the two sides in Pakistan.

Maybe it’s a little unfair to condense 938 minutes of batting nirvana (remember he added 92 more in the second innings) into 15 minutes of highlights, but sit back and enjoy.

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Babar Azam To Mohammad Amir: Here's How Pakistan's Probable T20 World Cup 2024 Squad Look Like

T20 world cup 2024: will pakistan make any major changes in their world cup squad let's find out. read below.

Babar Azam To Mohammad Amir Heres How Pakistans Probable T20 World Cup 2024 Squad Look Like Babar Azam To Mohammad Amir: Here's How Pakistan's Probable T20 World Cup 2024 Squad Look Like

T20 World Cup 2024: The T20 World Cup 2024 is less than 20 days away and Pakistan are yet to announce their squad for the upcoming mega event. However, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced their squad for the England and Ireland T20I series, which indeed, gives an indication that the 18 men that have travelled to Europe will be forming the required provisional squad for the T20 World Cup and that, three names will miss out on the bus of the main team, and would settle in for the role of 'Reserves'. 

Pakistan have been unable to win a T20I series since 2021, a stat which is baffling for most of the cricket fans, as the Asian giants lost a dramatic semi-final to Australia in the T20 World Cup 2021, which they were expected to win, for the fact that they created history by beating India for the very first time in any format of the ICC World Cups, and they did so in some style, as they hammered and humiliated the Virat Kohli-led side by 10 wickets.

Even in the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, Pakistran scraped their way past out of a tough group and defeated New Zealand in the semi-final to reach the Final, where they were beaten by a Ben Stokes-inspired England team, who won their scond T20 World Cup. The defending champions are back to the land where they won their initial T20 World Cup (in 2010) and are looking like a strong unit, whereas, the misery for Pakistan continues, as they drew 2-2 to a 'Reserves' squad of New Zealand, that too at home, and salt was rubbed on the wounds by the Irish, as Ireland managed to win their first ever T20I against Pakistan.

The 2009 T20 World Cup winners have responded back, as half centuries from Mohammad Rizwan and ever-reliable Fakhar Zaman helped Pakistan level the series 1-1 ad play the decider on Tuesday, May 14.

Here's How Pakistan Will Line-Up At T20 World Cup 2024

Led by Babar Azam, the current 18-man squad on tour will end up being the main squad, as the following 15 men will make their cut into the shortlist:

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

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Cricket Ireland confirms historic Pakistan tour in 2025; to play in Test and limited-overs series

I reland Cricket team will make a historic tour of Pakistan in 2025 as the two teams will meet for the first time in the 1992 ODI World Champions’ homeland. The tour was confirmed by both the boards late Monday evening when PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi met Cricket Ireland chair Brain MacNeice with the two nations set to play a bilateral series. The reported tour will take place in August-September 2025 with no venues yet fixed. 

PCB confirms historic tour

"Chairman Cricket Ireland said that the Irish team would visit Pakistan next year in August-September for a Test series and would also review the possibility of a women's team tour to Pakistan soon," the PCB statement said. 

This will be the first time Ireland will tour Pakistan for a bilateral series with their majority meetings coming in ICC tournaments on neutral venues. The tour was not part of the Future Tour Plan (FTP) but will now get underway in August 2025 after the conclusion of the 2025 World Test Championship (WTC). The confirmation of the tour came just hours after PCB released a statement about Ireland’s visit to Pakistan. Cricket Ireland put up a statement on its website and added it will be their second senior tour to Pakistan after their women's team had done so in 2022. 

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In "wide-ranging discussions", it merely confirmed that the two boards "were able to agree to a men's tour next year - this will be yet another historic first, coming after the tour to Pakistan by our senior women in 2022."

The two nations have developed a mini rivalry in recent times, one which had its early spark in the 2007 ODI World Cup. Ireland beat Pakistan in the ODI World Cup group stage match which eliminated the Men in Green. Since then, the two nations have often had heated battles on the cricket field including another defeat for Babar Azam’s men during the ongoing tour. 

As things stand, the ongoing three-match T20I series taking place in Ireland has seen the spoils shared 1-1 with one match to go. Both teams will be participating in the upcoming T20 World Cup in the USA and the West Indies.

Cricket Ireland confirms historic Pakistan tour in 2025; to play in Test and limited-overs series


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