Over the years, West Indies cricket authorities and players have helped Pakistan time and again by agreeing to tour the Asian country despite most other cricketing nations shunning them.
They have done that yet again, although, like their previous tours, this current side of theirs is also missing a number of key players, giving them a B-team look.
Regular captain, Kieron Pollard is not part of the touring party due to a hamstring injury, due to which allrounder Rovman Powell was picked for T20Is and wicketkeeper Devon Thomas for the 50-over format.
If that wasn’t enough, the group visiting from the Caribbean has now seen four of its members sidelined after Covid was found in their system. Three of the four are players, including Sheldon Cottrell, Roston Chase, and Kyle Mayers.
That weakened an already weak unit that would have been a distant second-best even if it had all its regular players available.
Pakistan and their faithful are well aware that a touring West Indies side does not strike any fear in anyone’s heart anymore. A depleted Windies makes the task ever easier.
But as has been the case in recent times, especially since the upset defeat at home to an understrength Sri Lanka side towards the rear end of 2019, the Green Shirts have gone pretty much with all their regulars. Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez’s combined billions of years of experience is certainly missing but then they rarely get picked for easy home assignments anyway.
The bigger absentee is Imad Wasim, although Mohammad Nawaz can be more than an adequate replacement for the all-rounder.
Among the new additions are Abdullah Shafique, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, and Saud Shakeel. It depends which and how many of them get a chance, although Iftikhar is almost certain to play.