After a lengthy rest of two months, Pakistan are about to leave for England to take part in this year’s biggest tournament, the Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held next month. Pakistani players will try to acclimatize to the English conditions with the help of a few ODIs against Scotland and Ireland, and warm-up matches before the Champions Trophy.

[caption id="attachment_910" align="alignright" width="205"]Having gone through agonising memories, overseas Pakistanis in England will get another chance to support their team (Photo: PA Photos) Having gone through agonising memories, overseas Pakistanis in England will get another chance to support their team (Photo: PA Photos)[/caption]

It will be Pakistan’s first arrival in England since the 2010 catastrophic tour that rocked the national team. Spot-fixing allegations against three Pakistani players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir – were made during the tour. The ICC later endorsed the claims and imposed lengthy bans on the trio. Apart from all this, the way English media castigated Pakistan after the scandal, the present Pakistani players will certainly feel themselves under the gun when they are in England. That’s why the problem will be twofold for Pakistan. On the one hand, they face strong opponents in their group – South Africa, West Indies and archrivals India – and on the other, they are under the pressure of English media.

On a different note, however, analysts say that the Champions Trophy will be a tough stage for Pakistan because of unfamiliar conditions and inexperienced players. But the argument doesn’t hold water as Ehsan Adil is the only player in the Pakistani squad who hasn’t played cricket in England. Asad Ali, who hasn’t yet represented Pakistan, has played six season of league cricket in England.

The last season Asad played was from Stoke Club, and before that he had already represented Nottingham, Derby and Bradford.

All-rounder Umar Ameen has also got vast experience of league cricket under his belt, while Abdur Rehman and Junaid Khan had also been playing county cricket. Moreover, Asad Shafique has played a domestic season n England.

Now, let’s see how Pakistani players utilise their experience in England, but it’s a fact that the upcoming event is going to be a daunting tournament for Pakistan.
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