Pakistan aiming to use ODI series as preparation for ICC Champions Trophy
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Pakistani players arriving at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on Monday (Adrian Narine photo)
Pakistani players arriving at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on Monday (Adrian Narine photo)

Pakistan fielding coach Steve Rixon said that his side will be using the upcoming One Day International Series against the West Indies as preparation for the June 1 – 18  ICC Champions Trophy in England.

The Guyana National Stadium will play host to three ODIs between the West Indies and Pakistan, starting Friday April 7, while matches will be played on Sunday April 9, and Tuesday April 11.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, the former Australian batsman said that his team has shifted their focus from T20 cricket, to the one day game, noting “it’s something we haven’t played particularly well over the years, but we’re looking forward to the improvement there and obviously heading into the Champions Trophy, so very much the focus on One Day cricket.”

Pakistan’s fielding coach Steve Rixon.

West Indies, who are currently ranked ninth with 84 points in the latest ICC team rankings, are under pressure to improve their position on the table as only the top eight ranked teams as of September 30, 2017, will earn an automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.

With the addition of a series against Afghanistan, West Indies now have a total of 12 ODIs – three each against Pakistan and Afghanistan, a one-off against Ireland and five away games against England – before the cut-off date. However, for Pakistan, their focus is largely set on getting quality performance from the players ahead of the ICC showpiece in June.

“We’ve set out target on this series from the moment we’ve got together as a group, it is a focus for further down the track, but we just have to focus on playing well and getting focus for the Champions Trophy” According to Rixon.

Pakistan is on their first tour of the West Indies since 2013 where they won a five-match ODI series 3-1 and swept a pair of T20 Internationals.

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