Karachi                   -                 Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif said that the national team should be playing T20Is instead of Tests on their upcoming tour of England.

The tour is scheduled to take place from the end of July to the first week of September. For the time being, the itinerary has three Tests and as many T20Is. But as per the 51-year-old Latif, Pakistan could play around six to seven T20Is. The veteran feels that Pakistan could do without Test cricket for the next six months, bearing in mind the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Latif, whose career spanned from 1992 to 2003, also said that hosting the T20Is will be much more financially viable than the longer format. He reckons that by playing the shorter format, they could get themselves prepared for the World Cup. “There should be options at the two board’s disposal as far as the Test series is concerned.

“I would not go for Test matches at the initial six-month stage. The next event is the T20 World Cup. I would ask them for six or seven T20 matches instead of the Tests. T20s happen in just one day, if we want to look at it financially,” Latif was quoted as saying in a YouTube video on Tuesday.

The former wicketkeeper batsman said that the T20s could provide a financial cushion for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in the COVID-19 pandemic situation. “Playing T20s could provide both boards with a cushion during these hard times. This would also help the team prepare for the upcoming global event. We don’t know yet if the event will go as planned in Australia because all governments will create new policies due to the epidemic,” he said.

When the year started, Pakistan were ICC’s number-one ranked T20I team. However, shoddy performances last year, has pushed them down to number four in the rankings. Earlier, Sarfaraz Ahmed was axed as the skipper and Babar Azam replaced him. Babar has also been appointed as the ODI skipper. On Wednesday, May 13, the PCB announced the names of the players for the central contracts. Among the big names, the fast bowling trio of Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir missed out.