Since the hype of the PSL finale, the cricket spirit of the Pakistanis has settled down and a T20 series against West Indies has not been able to match the glory of PSL. The series with West Indies is no longer about the revival of international cricket in Pakistan. It is just to make this sensation of revival normal.
After thrashing West Indies 3-0 at home, the men in green are on cloud nine, but more importantly the evolving process of getting back international cricket to Pakistan is what everyone want and West Indies visiting Pakistan played a pivotal role.
With the inexperienced West Indies team, the victory of Pakistan in these series was surely on the cards. With the Pakistani team consisting of hardened, young, talented and spirited players versus the new and inexperienced players of West Indies, the odds were always in Pakistan’s favour. The West Indies cricket board had to quickly assemble a team ready to go to Pakistan. Most of the world-class players like Chris Gayle, Jason Holder and Evin Lewis and the T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite pulled out from the automatic selection while the vice-captain Jason Mohammed stepped up to take the reins.
Despite the fact that the West Indies had nothing to lose from the series, their biggest challenge was to make the games competitive. With the Pakistani players already in form after going through several days’ training and three consecutive games, the West Indies team was facing a serious threat. Even then, their morale was balanced by the addition of Marlon Sammuels, a two-time World T20 winner. But they had to overcome their jetlag and be ready to play in just hours of their arrival.
The Pakistani squad consisted of top-of-the-form players like Fakhar Zaman, Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam leading the batsmen and Mohammed Amir and Hassan Ali as the best bowlers with the probable debut of the sensational fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi. The selection of Ahmed Shehzad raised a lot of eyebrows but there’s no harm in giving him a second chance. Pakistan was always the best team to win this series but more importantly we will always be thankful and indebted to West Indies cricket board in contributing for the revival of international cricket to Pakistan.