PAK v WI

Scenarios for Pakistan to strengthen their No.1 T20I rank

Pakistan will take another significant step towards the revival of international cricket as World Twenty20 champions the West Indies feature in three back-to-back Twenty20 internationals in Karachi from Sunday.

Pakistan have the opportunity to firm up their position at the top of the ICC T20I Team Rankings.

A 3-0 victory will take the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side four points clear of Australia, who had closed in on them following a 2-0 series win over New Zealand last month. Pakistan and Australia are both currently on 126 points, with Pakistan ahead on decimal points.

The Windies, who are currently in fifth position with 115 points, will slip to 111 points and seventh position, behind England and South Africa, in such a scenario. A 2-1 win for Pakistan will not change the position or points for either side while a 2-1 win for the Windies will pull Pakistan down to 123 points, just two more than third-placed India. The Windies will be on 119 points.

Squads:

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi.

West Indies: Jason Mohammed (captain), Samuel Badree, Rayad Emrit, Andre Fletcher, Andre McCarthy, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, Odean Smith, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams.

ICC match referee: David Boon (Aus)

Pakistan have included three newcomers in batsman Asif Ali, allrounder Hussain Talat and paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi — after the trio fared well in the PSL 2018.

West Indies will be without their regular Twenty20 captain Carlos Brathwaite, who opted out of the tour over security fears while openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis, all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, and spinner Sunil Narine were not available for selection due to their commitments to the Indian Premier League.

Middle order batsman Jason Mohammad will lead the side, which has four uncapped Twenty20 players in batsman Andre McCarthy, fast bowler Odean Smith, left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul and all-rounder Keemo Paul.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee David Boon will supervise the series while ICC general manager cricket Geoff Allardice and umpires´ manager Adrian Griffith will also attend the matches to oversee arrangements.

The series comes as Pakistan is enjoying guarded optimism over the return of international cricket, driven from the country after a deadly militant attack targeting the Sri Lanka team in 2009.

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