ICC T20 World Cup 2022 finalists go toe-to-toe in build-up to next month’s event

The Pakistan men’s cricket team will take on England in the first of the four-match T20I series at Headingley on Wednesday. The remaining three matches will be held in Birmingham (May 25), Cardiff (May 28) and The Oval, London (May 30), before the two teams depart for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies.

The last T20I meeting between Pakistan and England took place at the MCG in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. England edged past Pakistan by five wickets in a close encounter with Sam Curran earning the player of the final award for his figures of three for 12.

A full-strength Pakistan cricket team is expected to take the field at Headingley on Wednesday at the back of a 2-1 series win against Ireland in Dublin last week. Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi snapped up the Player of the Match awards in the two victories.

England dominate the T20I rivalry with 19 wins to Pakistan’s nine triumphs, while one game ended as a no-result. England were the winners of the previous bilateral series against Pakistan, clinching the seven T20Is played in Lahore and Karachi 4-3.

Pakistan men’s white-ball head coach Gary Kirsten joined the side on May 19 for the first assignment of his two-year tenure.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who is the most successful captain in T20Is with 46 wins, said: “I am confident that Pakistan will carry the winning momentum from the Ireland series into the England T20Is. Our 2-1 victory in Dublin showcased the brilliance of our batters and bowlers, while also providing us with learnings as we aim to work on our areas of improvement.

“We’ve had productive training sessions at Headingley and with head coach Gary Kirsten linking up with the squad, we are focussed on fine-tuning our strategies and combinations for the four T20Is against England and T20 World Cup.”

Squads (to be selected from):

England: Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley and Mark Wood

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

Series schedule:

May 22 – v England, 1st T20I, Leeds
May  25 – v England, 2nd T20I, Birmingham
May 28 – v England 3rd T20I, Cardiff
May 30 – v England, 4th T20I, The Oval

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