For Pakistan, 2019 has been a largely ordinary year. After losing to South Africa, Australia and England, they crashed out of the World Cup before making the semi-finals and then lost a T20I series at home against Sri Lanka. They were also walloped by Australia Down Under in T20Is and Tests. The Green brigade’s only success came at home against Sri Lanka, in ODIs and Tests. The team has made some major changes in its set-up and now Pakistan look forward to a much-improved 2020.
Pakistan face two major challenges in 2020
Pakistan will have a couple of major challenges to face in the incoming year and those are the Asia Cup at home and T20 World Cup in Australia. Those fixtures are, however, scheduled more towards the end of the year. Pakistan will begin the year with two-Test and three-T20I series against Bangladesh at home. They will be playing international cricket again in July when they take on the Netherlands in an away three-ODI series.
In July-August, Pakistan plays three Tests against England in England and then two T20Is against Ireland in their den. The Asia Cup is scheduled in September and following that, Pakistan will take on South Africa in three ODIs and as many T20Is in an away series.
In October-November, they head Down Under to take part in the World Cup of T20s, the format in which they lead the rest in ICC rankings. In November-December, Pakistan will lock horns with Zimbabwe in three ODIs and three T20Is at home. In December-January 2021, the team will head for New Zealand to play in two Tests and three T20Is.
Pakistan will be looking to prove a point in the two mega T20I events — the Asia Cup and the World Cup. The team has won both the tournaments in the past (last won Asia Cup in 2012 and its only World Cup in T20Is came in 2009) and it will aim to win the trophies back as the No.1 team in the shortest format.
Since the Asia Cup will be held in Pakistan, question marks will arise over India’s participation because of political tensions between the two neighbouring countries.
Here’s Pakistan’s schedule in 2020:
January-February: 2 Tests and 3 T20Is against Bangladesh – home
July: 3 ODIs against the Netherlands – away
July-August: 3 Tests against England – away
August: 2 T20Is against Ireland – away
August-September: 3 T20Is against England – away
September: Asia Cup
October: 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is against South Africa – away
October-November: ICC T20 World Cup in Australia
November-December: 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is against Zimbabwe – home
December 2020-January 2021: 2 Tests and 3 T20Is against New Zealand – away
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