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Pak vs SL: ‘Didn’t feel unsafe’, Babar Azam rebuffs security concerns in Sri Lanka

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  • Babar Azam says “Sri Lanka Cricket has looked after us really well and security provided to us is great”.
  • Says team will try their best to perform well in series and is well prepared for task.
  • Says, “I sent a message to Kohli to extend him support.”

GALLE: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam Friday expressed confidence in the security arrangements for the national Test squad that is visiting Galle for a Test series, as Sri Lanka goes through countrywide protests against the president and prime minister seeking their resignations.

Speaking to the press ahead of the first of the two-match series slated to begin July 16 at Galle International Stadium, Babar said that the team is being “looked after well” by the local authorities.

The squad arrived in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo last week when the economic crisis sparked protests there, forcing Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign as the country’s president. The team played a three-day warm-up match in the capital and then travelled to Galle.

“We didn’t feel unsafe here in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Cricket has looked after us really well and the security provided to us is great,” the Pakistani captain said, adding they also played a warm-up game there so everything was fine and they were focused on the series.

“There were no hurdles that made us feel unsafe.”

The star batter said Sri Lankan people love cricket and they saw a lot of enthusiasm in the Test series against Australia.

“We hope fans will come to the stadium in this series as well.”

‘We are prepared for Test series’

The Pakistani captain said that the team will try its best to perform well in the series and was well prepared for the task.

“I like the ground in Galle. The Sri Lankan team is very tough in home conditions,” Babar Azam said, adding that Australia’s series first gave the team an idea of what the conditions would be like.

“We have come here to play after a long time, we have done our homework.”

Galle pitch supports spinners a lot, the skipper said. “Sri Lankan spinners are very good and we have prepared accordingly.”

Defending the inclusion of Yasir Shah in the squad, Babar said he has come back after hard work and hoped that he will give a tough time to the rival team.

‘Virat Kohli needs support’

In a message of support to former Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who is going through a rough patch, Babar said that as a player, he knows how to get through and out of tough situations.

“Players need sport at such a time, I sent a message to Kohli to give him support.”

Babar said that Kohli was a great player and played a lot of cricket.

“Virat Kohli knows how to get out of these things, it takes time but we should lend him support so he comes of out it sooner than earlier,” he concluded.

On late Thursday, Babar tweeted a photo with Kohli and extended his support to the former Indian skipper. “This too shall pass. Stay strong,” Babar had written for Kohli who last made his international century in 2019. 

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Rise in ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Rankings for Pakistani Players

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam moved up the T20I batting rankings to take third place after scoring 33 runs off of just 10 balls in Tuesday’s nail-biting run chase against Canada. In contrast, Mohammad Rizwan, who batted at wicketkeeper, retired to fourth place.

In the bowling rankings, returning pacer Mohammad Amir rose 65 places to 82nd, and Naseem Shah climbed 21 places to joint-thirty-third.

Also, left-arm spinner Imad Wasim stormed up the rankings, taking 34th position. While Shadab fell three spots to fourteenth, Imad rose one spot to eleventh in the T20I all-rounder rankings.

The ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Bowling Rankings have Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi falling to number twelve, despite the fact that he has not played up to his usual standards. The right-handed speedster Haris Rauf, on the other hand, fell two spots to 36th.

After taking two wickets in a Twenty20 International match against New Zealand, Afghanistan’s veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi was named the “big winner” in the most recent rankings update by the major cricketing organization.

As a result of his recent two-wicket haul against New Zealand in Guyana, the 39-year-old Mohammad Nabi jumped to the No. 1 slot on the list for all-rounders, making him the clear winner in the latest rankings update, according to a press statement from the ICC.

In the wake of a massive shuffle at the top of the T20I rankings for all-rounders, Nabbila improves by two spots to take first place, with Marcus Stoinis of Australia climbing three spots to take second place and Shakib Al Hasan falling four spots to fifth.

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A petition has been filed criticizing the cricket team’s bad performance in the T20 World Cup.

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A lawyer in Gujranwala has submitted a formal request to the court, urging for legal measures to be taken in response to the substandard performance of the national cricket team.

The petition has been lodged in the court of the district and sessions judge, citing sections 22A and 22B of the Pakistan Penal Code. It identifies all individuals involved, including captain Babar Azam, team management, and the coach, as parties.

The petitioner voiced profound apprehension at the underwhelming performance of the national cricket team, deeming it a squandering of funds and a breach of the nation’s confidence. The petition alleges that the team jeopardized millions of rupees and the nation’s integrity, claiming that the players and team management chose financial gain over the honor of the country.

In addition, the petition emphasizes the significant emotional distress experienced by individuals during matches against America and India, considering these performances to be particularly offensive. The user is requesting a suspension of the team until a detailed investigation is carried out by the interior secretary and a comprehensive report is finalized.

The petitioner further condemns the intrusion of political personalities in the team’s matters, contending that whenever political selections are made as coaches and chairmen, it results in the team’s decline.

The court has instructed the police to respond to the petition by June 21.

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Mohammad Rizwan has achieved an undesirable record in the T20 World Cup.

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Pakistan achieved the target of 107 runs with only three wickets lost and 15 balls remaining, thanks to a solid half-century by Rizwan.

The right-handed batsman achieved an undefeated score of 53 runs from an equal number of deliveries, including three boundaries and one six. This is the initial fifty runs scored by a Pakistani batsman in the current tournament.

Nevertheless, Rizwan required 52 deliveries to achieve his fifty runs, making it the most time-consuming half-century in the whole T20 World Cup’s history.

South Africa’s David Miller previously held the record for scoring a half-century in 50 balls against the Netherlands at the same stadium.

Rizwan commenced the batting for Pakistan alongside Saim Ayub (6), but they were unable in providing the Pakistani team with a satisfactory beginning when Ayub lost his wicket in the fifth over, leaving the team with a mere 20 runs on the scoreboard.

Subsequently, Skipper Babar Azam joined Rizwan on the batting crease, and the pair effectively guided the team’s pursuit of runs with a resilient partnership. Babar and his partner contributed 63 runs for the second wicket until Babar was dismissed by Dilon Heyliger in the 15th over.

He achieved a scoring rate of one run per ball, accumulating a total of 33 runs, aided by a single boundary and a six.

Mohammad Rizwan briefly collaborated with Fakhar Zaman, who only managed to score four runs and was out on the second delivery of the 18th over, with the team needing just three more runs to win.

Usman Khan secured victory for Pakistan by elegantly directing the ball towards the midwicket area, resulting in a two-run score.

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