England Twenty20 International captain Paul Collingwood is hoping his side can use a week in Dubai as good preparation for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies.
His team will come up against world champions Pakistan in two Twenty20 Internationals on 19th and 20th February and they now know that they will play Ireland and the West Indies in the Caribbean later in the year.
“This is a big week for us in terms of a Twenty20 squad of players and for getting our minds back on to Twenty20 cricket,” Collingwood told a press conference in Dubai.
“It’s good to have these two games before the World Cup to see exactly where we are in terms of team and squad selection.
“We’ve also got an important game on Wednesday which is going to feel like an international because the (England) Lions will certainly want to beat us.
“So, it’s a great week for us in the Twenty20 form of the game but the important thing from this week is to get two wins under our belt and that would give us great confidence going into the World Cup."
Meanwhile, his counterpart Shoaib Malik, deputising for the suspended Shahid Afridi, is looking forward to the matches and is looking at them as opportunities for his side to make further progress.
“It’s a great opportunity we have to utilize just before the World Cup as we have two matches against England, which is a very good side.
“We are the champions so we know how to play Twenty20 cricket. They are also a good side and so it will be tough matches. We have a few good youngsters who did well in our domestic tournament and that is why they are here, so we are sure they will do well in these coming matches."
The two sides will warm by playing their respective reserves, England meeting the England Lions and Pakistan taking on Pakistan A on 17th February.
© Cricket World 2010