BARBADOS: Pakistan will face West Indies in the first T20 International being played at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Sunday.
Both teams have played only four T20 Internationals since the World T20 last year. World champions West Indies will be seeking to erase the recent memory of a pitiful showing in the United Arab Emirates.
Carlos Brathwaite’s team has the opportunity to make an immediate statement on home soil against a Pakistan side that has also been inactive since those comprehensive triumphs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
However, a cloud hangs in the aftermath of a spot-fixing scandal that emerged during last month’s Pakistan Super League with five players, including regulars Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Irfan, provisionally suspended.
Their absence presents an opportunity for players either emerging from a period in the wilderness such as opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad and veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, or newcomers like Shadab Khan and Fakhar Zaman to stake their claims to regular international duty.
The match is the first of four, a rarity in bilateral T20 International series, with the remaining three at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad at the end of the week.
It is fair to suggest that both teams will have a greater level of focus and intensity in the three-match One-day International series that follows in Guyana.
West Indies are also desperate to stay in the hunt for an automatic qualifying spot for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England, but will still have the chance to get through the qualifying tournament in Bangladesh next year
Misbah ul Haq will then lead Pakistan in three Tests at the conclusion of the ODI duel as the visitors seek to make history by winning a Test series in the Caribbean for the first time.
Match will start at 9 P.M PST.
Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Evin Lewis, Chadwick Walton (wicketkeeper), Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jason Mohammed, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree.
Sarfraz Ahmed (captain/wicketkeeper), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Sohail Tanvir, Rumman Raees, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz.