Edgbaston is set to host some of the biggest names in international cricket when Pakistan Men’s and Women’s teams arrive in Birmingham next May to take on England.

It’ll be the first time England and Pakistan have gone head-to-head in an IT20 at Edgbaston and anticipation is already building.

The women’s game opens the 2024 Major Match calendar on Saturday 11 May with the men following on Saturday 25 May in what is a clash between the current IT20 World Cup winners and runners-up.

Both teams have some great names of modern day T20 cricket as well as some of the most exciting young cricketers too.

Here are some of the Pakistan players to look out for at Edgbaston, and a couple of young guns who could break into the men’s line-up, from Imran Munawar at Geo News.

Pakistan Men

Babar Azam – King of Pakistan cricket

One of the greatest batters of the modern era. Edgbaston is a very special place for Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain, as it’s the ground where he announced himself onto the world stage during the 2019 ICC Men’s World Cup.

Babar played a sublime innings against the eventual finalists New Zealand scoring an unbeaten century in a tense, victorious run chase. It was one of the best ODI innings ever by a Pakistan batters.

He scored 474 runs in total at an average nearly 68 and strike rate of 88 thus ending the tournament as the most success Pakistan batter.

During the 2021 tour of England, Azam led the Pakistan team and scored another breath-taking century at Edgbaston in the third match of the ODI series. He smashed 158 runs off just 139 balls which is to date his highest score in ODIs.

Babar Azam currently ranks 1st in the world in ODIs and 3rd in IT20s.

Shaheen Afridi – The Eagle

Shaheen, nicknamed The Eagle, is currently the most devastating left-arm fast bowler across all formats but particularly in T20 cricket. At times with the new ball his in-swingers and toe crushing yorkers are simply unplayable.

Like Babar, he too has a special connection with Edgbaston.

In the same World Cup 2019 match against New Zealand, very little was known about the 19-year-old, baby-faced pacer – but his three wickets for 28 runs made everyone take notice. Just days later he took six wickets for 35 against Bangladesh at Lords, becoming the youngest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a World Cup match.

Zaman Khan – Young pace sensation

Zaman Khan is among the most promising emerging players from Pakistan who has left his mark in T20 leagues around the globe.

From a humble background, he’s a product of Lahore Qalandars Player’s development program and was part of their PSL winning squad twice in the last two years often bowling in the death overs.

With his round-arm sling action, he generates speed of 90mph consistently. After a successful stint in the PSL he earned a call in Pakistan’s national squad for the IT20 series earlier this year against Afghanistan. 

Khan signed for Derbyshire Falcons for this year’s Vitality Blast and was the fourth top wicket-taker.

Mohammad Haris – “Mr Google” a blistering batter  

Haris made headlines during the last T20 World Cup in Australia when he smashed 31 runs of just 11 balls against South Africa, playing a big hand in making sure Pakistan reached the semi-finals.

He made his IT20 debut just a month before against England during their visit to Pakistan. Known as Mr Google for his ability to answer any questions during his under-19 days, Haris made an impressive debut in the PSL in 2022.

Playing his first match for Peshawar Zalmi he hit the first ball for a six. He ended the tournament with a strike rate of 187 and earned a call into national team for the ODI series against West Indies.

Pakistan Women

Nida Dar – Lady Boom Boom!

Dar has recently been appointed captain and currently lies 2nd in the list of all time leading wicket takers in IT20 cricket with 126 wickets.

But the off break bowler is also a hard-hitting middle order batter: in the 130 IT20s Nida Dar has played she’s scored 1,687 runs.

After the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 tournament, Nida Dar was named stand out player of the Pakistan team. She also won Pakistan Cricket Board’s Women Cricketer of the Year award in 2021.

Fatima Sana – Rising star

Right arm medium fast all-rounder, Fatima Sana is among the young female cricketers from Pakistan who have burst onto international scene in the last few years.

In 2019 she made her international debut both  in ODIs and IT20s. So far, she’s played 24 IT20s taking 17 wickets and scoring valuable runs down the order.

Recently Sana led Pakistan in the ACC Emerging Women’s T20 Asia Cup.

Although she follows Ben Stokes and wants to become the best all-rounder, but Sana’s bowling heroes are Ellyse Perry and James Anderson.  

In 2020 she was shortlisted for Women’s Emerging cricketer of the year award by the PCB and in 2021 she won the ICC Women’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year award.