LONDON: Pakistan cricket team arrived in London on Monday for the England/Ireland tour, where they will play a Test against Ireland, two Tests against England and two T20 internationals against Scotland.
Pakistan will kick off the tour with a match against Kent on April 28, followed by a second tour match against Northamptonshire on May 4. The team will then take on Ireland, who will be playing their first ever Test on May 11 before taking on England in two Test matches on May 24 and June 1. This will be followed by two T20 internationals against Scotland on May 12 and 13.
Prior to leaving for the tour, Pakistan’s 16-member squad took part in a training camp at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The team arrived without their bowling spearhead Mohammad Amir. The Pakistan Cricket Board is nonetheless confident Amir will be permitted to join his teammates in London soon. “He didn’t travel with the team as we are still awaiting for his visa,” a PCB spokesperson told the media. “His visa status is still pending but we are optimistic that he is mostly likely to get the visa by Wednesday before he starts his journey same day.”
Amir, who is married to a British citizen and whose son was born in the UK last year, made his comeback to international cricket in Pakistan’s memorable 2016 four-Test series against England.
The 2010 controversy aside, the UK has been a happy hunting ground for Amir; he’s collected 42 wickets at 26.26 in 10 Tests on British soil and helped lead Pakistan to last year’s ODI Champions Trophy crown, defeating arch-rivals India at The Oval in the final.
Meanwhile, Pakistani cricket team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has said the decision to drop left-handed batsman Fawad Alam for the upcoming England and Ireland tour was unanimous in nature. According to a ‘Dawn’ report, Fawad performed well in the national training camp but failed to make it to the national squad, for which fingers were pointed at chief selector Inzamam-Ul-Haq.
The Dawn quoted ESPNcricinfo that Inzamam defended his decision that he “has seen better players than Fawad Alam in the last three years.”
Earlier, Alam refused to comment on the decision put forth by the chief selectors to keep him out of the team. Sarfaraz said there is always a difference of opinion while selecting a player.
“We have four selectors, a coach and a captain. Whenever a squad is being formed everyone offers their opinion and then the final side is picked with mutual understanding and cooperation. Squads aren’t selected unilaterally or without consultation – it doesn’t work that way.” Sarfraz said.