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Pakistan eye “final touches” on T20 World Cup preparations with Ireland series

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DUBLIN: Pakistan men’s cricket team will kick off their preparations for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 with a three-match away series against Ireland, starting on May 10.

The upcoming series marks the first time Ireland will host Pakistan for a T20I series.

The two sides have previously met only once in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2009 where Pakistan won by 39 runs with Kamran Akmal receiving the player of the match award for his 51-ball 57 and two stumpings.

Notably, Pakistan and Ireland are both placed in Group A for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 and will face each other in Florida on 16 June.

Besides the two sides, India, the United States of America (USA) and Canada are also in the same group, with the top two teams advancing to the second stage.

All three T20Is against Ireland will take place at Castle Avenue on May 10, 12 and 14 respectively, before the team heads to Headingley, Leeds, on Wednesday for a four-match T20I series against England.

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Pakistan head coach Azhar Mahmood asserted that the national team’s preparations for this year’s mega event kicked off with a five-match home series against New Zealand but their Europe tour will put the final touches on those preparations.

“Our preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 began with the home series against New Zealand and now it’s all about putting the final touches on those preparations.

“We have clarity on our game plans, strategies and combinations. It’s about bringing everything together before we arrive in the United States.

“We’ve only played Ireland once, so they will be a relatively new opponent for us. However, any team in T20 cricket can be dangerous as the match can swing in one over.

“The three T20Is will provide us with good information about their players and how they approach T20 cricket.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir will miss the T20I series opener against Ireland due to delays in the issuance of his visa and is expected to join the side on Friday.

Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (c), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir (unavailable for first T20I), Mohammad Rizwan, Muhammad Irfan Khan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Khan.

Ireland Squad: Paul Stirling (c), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

READ: Mohammad Amir receives visa for Ireland tour

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