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Pakistan kick off T20 World Cup 2024 campaign against host USA today

By News Desk

June 6, 2024 01:22 AM


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Babar Azam will be hoping it is third time lucky for him when he captains Pakistan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which started in the United States and Caribbean on 1 June. The 2009 champions will kick-start their journey in the 2024 event on Thursday against hosts United States at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas, with the first ball to be bowled at 10:30am local time (8:30pm Pakistan time).

On 9 June in New York, Pakistan will go head-to-head with traditional rivals India before taking on Canada at the same venue on 11 June. Their final first-round match will be against Ireland on 16 June in Florida. If Pakistan qualifies for the Super-Eight stage, their three matches will be in Antigua and Barbados from 19 to 23 June.

Babar was the captain when Pakistan won five straight matches before narrowly losing to Australia in the second semi-final of the 2021 event in the United Arab Emirates after the eventual champions needed 50 runs in the last four overs.

Babar, the No. 4 batter in the world, was again at the helm when Pakistan lost to England in the 2022 final in Melbourne after Jos Buttler’s side had slipped to 45 for three, then 84 for four and finally 132 for five before achieving the 138-run target with six balls and five wickets to spare.

Apart from Babar, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi were involved in the 2022 tournament. The side has been strengthened with the return of Mohammad Amir (also a member of the 2009 winning squad) and Imad Wasim, who last played in a T20 World Cup in 2016 and 2021, respectively. Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Saim Ayub, and Usman Khan are the five players who will be appearing at this level for the first time.

However, Imad Wasim will not be available for selection for Thursday’s match as he has been advised rest by the PCB Medical Team. Ahead of the fourth T20I against England late last month, Imad had experienced discomfort in his right rib cage while batting in the nets and consequently missed the match. He is expected to be available for selection for the 9 June match against India in New York.

Coincidentally, Pakistan’s T20 World Cup success in 2009 at Lord’s under Younis Khan came after Pakistan had lost the previous T20 World Cup final to India by five runs in Johannesburg.

Pakistan has one of the most impressive records in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup since its inception in 2007 in South Africa. Besides winning the 2009 event, it has reached the finals in 2007 and 2022, and featured in semifinals in 2010, 2012, and 2021.

In 47 matches Pakistan has played to date in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, it has won 28 with a success percentage of 60.63. Only India (63.95), South Africa (62.5), and Australia (62.5) have better success percentages than Pakistan among the Test-playing nations.

SQUAD: Babar Azam (captain), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Khan

 


News Desk


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