Harare: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday congratulated the Pakistan men’s cricket team on their sixth consecutive series win and Babar Azam, who has become the first Pakistan captain to win his opening four Tests.
Pakistan defeated South Africa in Tests and T20Is at home earlier this year and then won the T20I and ODI series in the return series before wrapping up the African safari with T20I and Test series wins against Zimbabwe in Harare.
This is the sixth time when Pakistan have won six or more series on the trot. Pakistan won 13 straight series in 2011-12, nine consecutive series in 2015-16, eight successive series in 2001-02 and six straight series in 1993-94 and 2017-18.
Babar followed his two home Test wins against South Africa with victories by innings margins in Harare. The number-one ranked ODI batsman will now have a chance to get back to his run-scoring form in red-ball cricket when he captains Pakistan against the West Indies (two Tests) and Bangladesh (two Tests) in August and September, respectively.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani congratulated the side on the successful Africa tour and also thanked the players and support staff for enduring the tough and demanding Covid-19 protocols to fulfill their Future Tours Programme commitments that ensured the fans remained connected with the sport.
Mani said: “On behalf of the Pakistan cricket fans, I want to congratulate the Pakistan men’s cricket team on completing successful tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe. The young and talented side through their performances under a blossoming and skillful captain and a committed and knowledgeable backroom staff have shown they are heading in the right direction. Nonetheless, a lot of work still needs to be done if they have to achieve their objective of featuring in the top-three across all formats by 2023.
“Winning six straight series during the Covid-19 pandemic only for the sixth time in our proud cricket history is a huge achievement and reflects how challenging and difficult it has been to perform consistently at the highest level. But, if we aspire to become world-beaters and want to match our great sides of the past, then we have to continuously raise the quality of our cricket so that we can excel and succeed against all oppositions and, more importantly, against the leading sides on their turfs.”
The tour to Africa also brought the curtains down on the side’s 2020-21 international commitments during which they played nine Tests, six ODIs and 19 T20Is in the 10-month period under unprecedented Covid-19 restrictions and protocols.
During this period, Pakistan as climbed to fifth in the ICC Test Team Rankings, their highest since 2017; presently occupies second place behind England on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League; and has retained fourth position in the T20Is.
Pakistan’s next international assignment is three Super League ODIs and three T20Is against England from July 8-20, followed by the tour to the West Indies.