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LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has congratulated its men's national cricket team on a successful tour of South Africa, where they won both the ODI and T20I series.

By virtue of winning the ODI series 2-1, Pakistan vaulted to second on the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League points table, while a 3-1 win in the T20Is has helped fourth-ranked Pakistan to reduce the gap with number-one ranked England to just 10 points.

During the South Africa tour, Babar Azam twice achieved number-one ODI ranking in a space of five days to eventually finish the series as the highest-ranked ODI batsman in the world, while Fakhar Zaman and Shaheen Shah Afridi climbed to their career-best rankings in the format.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said, "On behalf of the Pakistan cricket fans, I want to congratulate the Pakistan men's cricket team on an impressive performance on the tour. South Africa has never been easy for the visiting sides, but Pakistan stepped up every time they were tested and challenged on way to winning the ODI and T20I series 2-1 and 3-1, respectively. Away wins are always crucial and critical for the team and players' development and progression. I am confident these results will provide the players and the team the required confidence in what is a challenging and competitive year of international cricket."

Mani said, "I want to remind everyone we cannot afford to be complacent. This is a T20 World Cup year and each participating team will be putting in their best efforts to arrive fully prepared for the competition with the sole aim of winning the tournament. We need to continue to work hard, stay focused and prioritise our objectives so that we can also perform strongly in the series against England, West Indies and New Zealand, which will be played in the lead up to the global event."

Pakistan will now play three T20Is on April 21, 23 and 25, followed by two Tests, which will be played from 29th April to 3rd May and 7th-11th May.

On the other hand, 26 women cricketers will undergo skills and fitness training at the DHA Sports Club Moin Khan Academy in Karachi during the National Women High Performance Camp.

Head Coach David Hemp who is currently conducting a camp for the emerging women players at the same venue will take charge of this camp once it formally commences on Saturday 24th April following a seven-day quarantine period for the players in a Karachi hotel between 17th-23rd April.

The camp will be held under strict bio-secure environment, the players and support staff will be stationed at a local hotel. Over the course of the 15-day camp which will conclude on Saturday (8th May), the players will train under the supervision of the coaching staff of the women's national cricket team. The camp schedule has been prepared by Hemp and Saaiman in order to provide the participating players the opportunity to improve their overall fitness, enhance cricketing skills and to prepare them for future domestic and international events.

Chief Selector Urooj Mumtaz said, "The camp has been devised to keep the players fit and ready for upcoming international assignments. It also provides an excellent opportunity for our national players to further improve their skills in line with modern day cricket which will make them more competitive in major international tournaments. We are currently in the process of finalizing our international tours programme for the next 12 months and it promises to be an exciting year of competitive cricket."

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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