Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the side in UK    Getty Images
Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the side in UK Getty Images

Pakistan Cricket Board‘s (PCB) Chief Selector Wasim Bari said due to the lack of experienced players in the team, the upcoming England tour would be challenging. The retirement of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, both batsmen, has been a big loss for the team. The most experienced player in the team, which is scheduled to play the tests, is the wicketkeeper cum captain Sarfaraz Ahmed himself. He has played in 38 tests where he has managed to gather 2208 runs. Other than Ahmed, most of the young players have started their careers in 2017 itself.

Expressing concern about the tour being a short one, Bari, while talking to The Dawn, said any hosting cricket board watches their commercial interest before shifting their focus on to the game.

“Fixing the schedule of a series intelligently is a big art as the host cricket board watches its commercial interest first while putting the cricket on back burner,” Dawn quoted Bari as saying.

Talking of commercial interests, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has given a full tour slot to the Indian team which is scheduled to take place after the Pakistani tests. Pakistan will play its test from May 24-Jun 05, while India will play three T20 matches, three One Day Internationals and five test matches from July 03-September 11.

Bari is positive of the fact the exposure to the England test would help their players earn a name for themselves, which he feels is extremely necessary. “However the two Tests provide an opportunity for our young players to get their name on the honours’ list at Lord’s by scoring a century or taking five wickets,” The Dawn further quoted Bari as saying.

The Pakistan team will play its first test of the tour against Ireland on May 18. This is a match prior to their face off with England at Lord’s and Headingley. Pakistan is also scheduled to play two Twenty-20 matches against Scotland in Edinburgh in June.