All about the Pakistan Cricket Team

The Pakistan cricket team, commonly referred to as the Men in Green or the Shaheens, are run by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). They became a Full Member of the ICC on the 28th July 1952.

In this article, you will learn about the team's history, the colours they use for their kits, their best current players, what they have won and how they have performed against other top nations, as well as how they are currently playing on the world stage.

A History of Pakistan Cricket

pakistan cricket team

Karachi was the scene of the first international cricket match held in Pakistan. This game took place on the 22nd of November 1935 and saw a Sindh team take on an Australian team. More than 5,000 locals turned up to watch the match, but it is not actually known which team won the match.

When Pakistan achieved independence in 1947, cricket developed rapidly and by 1952 the national team met all the credentials to be rewarded test status. Believe it or not, but it was actually the BCCI that suggested to the ICC that Pakistan should be given test status. Pakistan played their first test series in 1952 against arch-rivals India. This was a five-match series played in India that the home side went on to win 2-1. This wasn't a bad first effort from the Pakistan team.

Their first overseas tour was to England in 1954, and they drew the series 1-1. Fazal Mahmood was the standout performer as he took twelve wickets in the match that Pakistan won. The following year, they played their first home test series in 1955 against India. Once again, this was a five-match series, but no team won as every test ended in a draw. This was the first time such a feat had happened in test cricket. That same year, they welcomed New Zealand to Pakistan for a three-match series. They won the first match by a margin of an innings and 1 run and they won the second by 4 wickets. The final test was a draw, meaning Pakistan won the series 2-0 overall. This was their first series ever won.

Their biggest achievement in test cricket came in 2016 when they became the number one test team in the world. This was the first time since the official ICC cricket ranking system was introduced in 2003 that they sat at the top of the table. However, their time at the top was relatively short lived as a slump in form led to them being dethroned. It is interesting to know that the ICC applied their calculations to all results from 1952, and if there was a ranking system in 1988, Pakistan would have led the way from August until September. The team is now strong in every format of the game and can give any team a run for their money, but you just never know what Pakistani team is going to turn up to a tournament or match. They have always had extremely talented players, but their inconsistency is something that continues to let them down. The only time that you can really be sure to see the real Pakistan turn up is when they are playing India. In these contests, both teams elevate their performance to whole new levels and the stadiums are always packed to the rafters. Due to the dispersal of Pakistanis around the world, the team has a huge following wherever they play cricket. For example, when they play cricket matches in England in cities such as Birmingham or London, you would be forgiven for thinking that they were the home side and not England. The Pakistan cricket followers in the United Kingdom are known as the "Stani Army".

"From 2009 until 2019, the Pakistan cricket team played all of their home fixtures in the United Arab Emirates due to terror threats. In September of 2019, the first match international cricket match in Pakistan for a decade was due to be played, but it was abandoned due to the weather."

Which Colours do the Pakistan Cricket Team Play In?

Test Cricket

When they are taking part in test matches, the players will wear the traditional cricket whites. If they are playing overseas, you will often see them wearing a white sweater that has a gold and green V-neck. The Pakistan team has been sponsored by Pepsi and Junaid Jamshed for over two decades, so you will find their logo on the right breast, with the Pakistan cricket star on the left breast. The fielders can wear a green cap or a white sunhat with the team logo in the centre. When it is their time to bat, the protective helmets they use are green with the Pakistan star in the centre.

ODI and T20 Cricket

Pakistan change their limited overs kit regularly, but they are always some shade of green with some yellow, gold, or blue added for good effect. When they are taking part in ICC tournaments such as the ICC Cricket World Cup or the T20 World Cup, "Pakistan" replaces the sponsor's logo on the centre of the shirt. The sponsor's logo in such cases can be found on the sleeve. When they are not participating in ICC tournaments, the unmistakable Pepsi logo will be seen on the front of their shirts, with the PCB logo on the left breast. When they are in the field, they will wear a green cap with the Pakistan star on it. When they are batting, their helmets are also green with the Pakistan star on it.

Who Are the Standout Players for Pakistan Cricket?

Pakistan has had many talented players throughout the year, but we will now take a look at some of the mercurial players that they currently have in their side.

Shaheen Afridi

Afridi is just 19 years old, but he has already proven that he has a long international career ahead of him. He is able to bowl at 90 mph and has the knack of putting the ball in the right spot time and time again. In the 2019 Cricket World Cup, he took 6 wickets for 35 against Bangladesh, making him the youngest bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul at a World Cup. To date, he has only played 19 ODI matches, but he already has 40 wickets to his name at an average of 21.17. In 7 T20 matches, he has taken 11 wickets at 18.45, and in the 3 test matches that he has played, he has picked up 12 wickets at an average of 31.41. If he continues to make use of the undoubted talent that he possesses, he will torment opposition batsmen for years to come.

Imam-ul-Haq

This is another youngster who can go on to achieve greatness for the Pakistan team. In fact, he has the potential to be even better than his uncle, Inzamam-ul-Haq, a Pakistan cricketing legend. On his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2017, he scored a century, making him just the second Pakistan batsman to achieve this feat. Since then, in 34 matches, he has gone on to score 1,568 runs (7 centuries and 6 half-centuries) at an average of 53.84. To date, he has played just 10 test matches, where he has scored a total of 483 runs (a top score of 76) at an average of 28.41. This is a name that we will be seeing on Pakistani scorecards for the next decade

Mohammad Amir

Amir made his debut for Pakistan at the tender age of 17 and it soon became apparent that he had the cricketing world at his feet. However, in 2010 he made a mistake that he is likely to regret for the rest of his life. He, alongside Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were involved in a spot-fixing scandal. He was found guilty of bowling no-balls on purpose and was banned from playing cricket for five years. As a result, his stats are not as good as they would have been, but, on his day, he is one of the best bowlers in world cricket. He has played 36 test matches and has picked up 119 wickets at a respectable average of 30.47. When it comes to ODI matches, he has played 61 and has picked up 81 wickets at an average of 29.62. He has played 42 T20 matches and has collected 55 wickets at an average of 19.38. He is also pretty handy with the bat as well.

Let’s Look at Their Performances in World Cricket

Here is a detailed breakdown of the results the team has achieved over the years.

ICC Cricket World Cup

Year Round Position
1975 Group Stage 5/8
1979 Semi-finals 4/8
1983 Semi-finals 4/8
1987 Semi-finals 3/8
1992 Champions 1/9
1996 Quarter-finals 6/12
1999 Runners-up 2/12
2003 Group Stage 10/14
2007 Group Stage 10/16
2011 Semi-finals 3/14
2015 Quarter-finals 6/14
2019 Group Stage 5/10

ICC T20 World Cup

Year Round Position
2007 Runners-up 2/12
2009 Champions 1/2
2010 Semi-finals 4/12
2012 Semi-finals 3/12
2014 Super 10 5/16
2016 Super 10 7/16

ACC Asia Cup

Year Round Position
1984 Group Stage 3/3
1986 Runners-up 2/3
1988 Group Stage 3/4
1990 Did Not Participate Did Not Participate
1995 Group Stage 3/4
1997 Group Stage 3/4
2000 Champions 1/4
2004 Super Fours 3/6
2008 Super Fours 3/6
2010 Group Stage 3/4
2012 Champions 1/4
2014 Runners-up 2/5
2016 Group Stage 3/5
2018 Super Fours 3/6

*Pakistan pulled out of the 1990 Asia Cup due to political strains between them and India.

ICC Champions Trophy

Year Round Position
1998 Quarter-finals 5/9
2000 Semi-finals 4/11
2002 Group Stage 5/12
2004 Semi-finals 4/12
2006 Group Stage 8/10
2009 Semi-finals 3/8
2013 Group Stage 8/8
2017 Champions 1/8

*This tournament was scrapped in 2017 as the ICC only want one major tournament per different format.

How Have Pakistan Got on Against the Other Full ICC Members?

Test Performances

Opponents Matches Played Won Lost Tied Drawn Win %
Australia 64 15 31 0 18 23.43
Bangladesh 10 9 0 0 1 90.00
England 83 21 25 0 37 25.30
India 59 12 9 0 38 20.33
Ireland 1 1 0 0 0 100
New Zealand 58 25 12 0 21 43.10
South Africa 26 4 15 0 7 15.38
Sri Lanka 53 19 16 0 18 35.84
West Indies 52 20 17 0 15 38.46
Zimbabwe 17 10 3 0 4 58.82

ODI Performances

Opponents Matches Played WonLostTiedNo ResultWin %
Afghanistan 4 4 0 0 0 100
Australia 104 32 68 1 3 32.17
Bangladesh 37 32 5 0 0 86.48
England 88 32 53 0 3 37.64
India 133 73 55 0 4 57.03
Ireland 7 5 1 1 0 78.57
New Zealand 107 55 48 1 3 53.36
South Africa 79 28 50 0 1 35.89
Sri Lanka 155 92 58 1 4 61.25
West Indies 134 60 71 3 0 45.89
Zimbabwe 59 52 4 1 2 92.10

T20 Performances

OpponentsMatches PlayedWonLost TiedNo ResultWin %
Afghanistan 1 1 0 0 0 100
Australia 20 12 7 1 0 62.50
Bangladesh 10 8 2 0 0 80
England 15 4 10 1 0 30.00
India 8 1 6 1 0 18.75
Ireland 1 1 0 0 0 100
New Zealand 21 13 8 0 0 61.90
South Africa 14 6 8 0 0 42.85
Sri Lanka 21 13 6 0 2 61.90
West Indies 14 11 3 0 0 78.57
Zimbabwe 11 11 0 0 0 100

How Have the Pakistan Cricket Team Been Playing Lately?

Pakistan recently played its first limited over series at home since 2009. They played three ODI matches and three T20 matches against Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the first game was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of heavy rain. However, Pakistan went on to take the series 2-0 by winning the first game by 67 runs and the second by 5 wickets. They didn't fare as well in the T20 series as they went down 3-0 to Sri Lanka. The away side won the first game by 64 runs, the second by 35 runs, and the third by 13 runs. Next up for the Pakistan team is a tricky tour to Australia in November and December. Here they will play Australia in three T20 matches and two test matches.