Sarfraz confident ahead of ‘tough’ tour

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Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed admits conditions in Ireland and England will be tough but believes they have the squad to be successful on their upcoming Test tour.

Sarfraz was speaking ahead of his team’s departure from Lahore for a Test against Ireland in Dublin and a further two Tests in England.

Pakistan have been in camp in Lahore for the last few weeks in preparation for what is expected to be tough conditions.

It is still early season in Europe with plenty of cloud and rain around but the skipper is confident they will be ready when the first Test against the Irish comes around on 11 May.

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Sarfraz told reporters: “Whenever there is an England tour, the conditions are always tough.

“On our previous tour in 2016, we played matches in July, but this year we are starting a bit earlier, so obviously it will be difficult to some extent.

“But we are working hard to give these boys as much confidence as possible and prepare ourselves.

“We have two practice games and we have prepared well here [in Lahore]. The way our batsman and bowlers are doing their hard work to enhance their skills, I believe this is going to get us good results.”

Sarfraz also said he believes the 16-man squad selected for the tour is the best available players that Pakistan have to offer.

There are five debutants included, four of which are batsmen, with plenty of debate in the Asian country about the non-selection of Fawad Alam who has been a top performer in domestic for many years.

Sarfraz continued: “Invariably, a few will get left out, and only 16 make the squad, but there is nothing to worry.

“There is no problem for those who are not selected this time around, and it’s not like they will never be picked again.

“My hopes are very high and I am optimistic with these new boys. The best thing about them is that they are willing to perform on the big stage.”

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