Pakistan, England gear up for World Twenty20
DUBAI: Former champions Pakistan will face England in a three-match Twenty20 series in Dubai from today as they begin to settle their squads for next year’s World Twenty20. Pakistan finished runners-up in the first edition of the World Twenty20 in 2007 before winning the crown two years later in England and are now ranked number two in the shortest and the most popular format of the game. They need to win the series, at least by a 2-1 margin, to maintain their standings-a fact Afridi believes will spur on his team. “We want to settle down before the World Twenty20,” said Afridi of the event to be held in India from March 11-April 3.
“Besides that we are ranked number two so it’s an important series for us in many ways and we will do our best to win it.” Pakistan are likely to get two to three Twenty20 matches if their series against India is held next month before they head to New Zealand for another three matches.
Before the sixth edition of the World Twenty20 they will also feature in the Asia Cup to be held in Bangladesh in February. Pakistan are hampered by the absence of ace spinner Saeed Ajmal, who is struggling with a new bowling action which needed alteration after it was deemed illegal.