Pakistan are scheduled to play at least 15 ODIs before the World Cup, against Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand. But this is also a fact Pakistan cricket board is planing for PSL (Pakistan super league) which is expected in December-January. So if PSL would organized then Pakistan cricket players would have more matches to prepare themselves for World Cup. The World Cup 2015 will be played in Australia and New Zealand, where Pakistan had won last World Cup in 1992 under the captaincy of Imran Khan. Can Pakistan repeat the history under Misbah-ul-haq? Well, that’s a tough question to answer. On the other side Pakistan pool is so difficult as the green team will play their first match against the rivals “India”. Remember Pakistan have never beaten India in World Cup matches but one thing is for sure, the team who will win their first match (Pak-Ind), will be most tough side for next matches because when you win a matches against your biggest rival, your energy level and moral would be boost. Anyways, International cricket council kept the tournament format to same like it was back in 2011, 14 teams of which 10 are full ICC test playing nations while 4 teams made it to the world cup through official qualifier event. Afghanistan will play in their very first ICC Official 50 over world cup and they have already made their debut in 2014 T20 world cup. While Ireland, UAE and Scotland also qualified through ICC qualifier tournament. Top 4 teams from each group will make it to the knockout stages which start with quarter finals and than semifinals taking place in march.
Well, coming back to the series of Pakistan cricket team. In August, Pakistan will play two Tests in Galle and Colombo from August 6 and 14 respectively before the teams play a three-match ODI series between August 23 and 30.
Test squad: Ahmed Shehzad, Khurram Manzoor, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Talha, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali, Wahab Riaz
ODI squad: Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Anwar Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Talha, Wahab Riaz, Zulfiqar Babar.
Then Pakistan will play a home series against Australia in UAE. As we all know Pakistan don’t has international cricket since 2009 and the men in green are playing all the home series in UAE. Pakistani cricketers truly wants to play in Pakistan in light of the fact that when you playin front of you own crowd, your moral and energy level would be boost up.
After the series against Australia, New Zealand would come to UAE to play a series against Pakistan in November-December 2014. Just few days back Pakistan cricket board has added an extra T20 international to Pakistan’s home series against New Zealand.. Both the T20s will be played in Dubai. Now New Zealand will also play a tour game in Sharjah from November 5 to 7, before the first Test begins in Abu Dhabi on November 11. The T20s will be held on December 4 and 5, and the ODI series begins on December 8 and ends on December 19.
Warm-up game: New Zealand v Pakistan A, Sharjah, November 5-7
By: Mohammad FurQan Bhatti
Writer is University Student and Sports Journalist based in Pakistan