With his sights set on the trophy, Pakistan’s ambitious opener Imam-ul-Haq has said he could not wait to play the final of the ongoing World Test Championship.
Pakistan will play five Tests in December-January on home soil, with three against England followed by two versus New Zealand.
With 51.85% of the points gained, the team captained by Baba Azam is presently in fifth place overall in the World Test Championship rankings.
“Due to the World Test Championship, the series against England and New Zealand is important for us,” he said. “We can stay in the race for the final by winning three or four matches during the upcoming series.”
The top nine Test teams, who will play six series each, are included in the current cycle, which runs from July 2021 to June 2023. The final, which will be held at The Oval in June 2023, will include the top two teams.
Imam is currently playing in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy as he looks to stay in rhythm ahead of the crucial Test matches.
“I’m trying to maintain my form by playing domestic cricket,” he said. “Test cricket usually happens after a long gap which is why we have to prepare for it from scratch every time.”
“I like playing Test matches on home soil as compared to ODIs and T20Is,” he added.
The left-hander was also happy to see top cricketing nations tour Pakistan.
“I’m happy to see that England and New Zealand are sending their full-strength teams to Pakistan. Top teams visiting Pakistan is good for our cricket,” he said.
It must be noted that the three-match Test series between Pakistan and England will start on December 1 in Rawalpindi.
However, in the case of political unrest, Karachi, which is already slated to host the last Test from December 17–21, is likely to receive the first Test, Multan will still serve as the location for the second Test, though.
The England team’s arrival schedule will be adjusted if the venue is changed. The English team is initially expected to arrive in Islamabad on November 27.
After seven Twenty20 Internationals in Karachi and Lahore in September-October of last year, this will be the second leg of England’s visit.
Pakistan has not yet announced its lineup for the Test series.