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



  • 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. 


Shan Masood hits double ton against Aussie Prime Minister’s XI




Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood Thursday knocked a double ton on the second day of the four-day game against Australia’s Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s XI posted 149-2 in 60 overs after Pakistan declared their innings at 391-9.

Masood, on the other hand, resumed his overnight tally of 156 to add 45 more runs to his score, reaching his third first-class double hundred. He ended with an unbeaten 201 from 298 deliveries, including 14 boundaries and a maximum.

Right-arm fast bowler Jordan Buckingham, who had taken three wickets the previous day, struck twice today to complete a five-wicket haul. He removed Aamir Jamal and Mir Hamza, who both went out cheaply.

Shan declared the innings after Khurram Shahzad was run out courtesy of a direct hit by Nathan McSweeney, with the scorecard reading 391-9 in 116.2 overs.

In return, Prime Minister’s XI opening duo of Cameron Bancroft (53, 128b, 3x4s) and Marcus Harris (49, 102b, 6x4s) put up a 96-run stand to give their team a solid start.

Abrar Ahmed provided the breakthrough for Pakistan, dismissing Harris in the 36th over. Right-arm pacer Khurram Shahzad trapped Bancroft LBW to provide Pakistan the second wicket.

Cameron Green (18 not out, 71b, 2x4s) and Matt Renshaw (19 not out, 60b, 1×4) batted together to add 37 more runs to take the total to 149-2 at stumps, with the side trailing by 242.

The third day’s play at Manuka Oval will resume on 0430 PKT.


Pakistan 391-9d, 116.2 overs (Shan Masood 201 not out, Sarfaraz Ahmed 41, Babar Azam 40, Abdullah Shafique 38; Jordan Buckingham 5-80, Mark Steketee 1-58, Nathan McAndrew 1-68, Todd Murphy 1-110)

Prime Minister’s XI 149-2, 60 overs (Cameron Bancroft 53, Marcus Harris 49; Khurram Shahzad 1-23, Abrar Ahmed 1-54)

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Update on Naseem Shah’s injury




The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday provided a health update on pacer Naseem Shah, who suffered a shoulder injury during the Asia Cup and missed this year’s World Cup as a result.

He also underwent surgery in the United Kingdom.

“Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah started the final stage of his rehabilitation today at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore,” the PCB said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The young pacer was injured during the Asia Cup in September, after which he underwent surgery in the United Kingdom. Following the surgery, he remained in the UK for two months for rehabilitation and initial training as the PCB covered his medical costs and he received continuous care from a team of expert medical staff.

“Naseem’s rehabilitation is being continued at NCA, Lahore under the care of a strength and conditioning coach, a physiotherapist and a doctor. Currently, he is doing light gym exercises and partial bowling practice and will start batting tomorrow.”

Earlier, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Quetta Gladiators’ premium pacer Naseem joined Islamabad United in a major swap deal.

Naseem was the topic of discussion among the cricket fraternity, and every PSL franchise was doing its best to get the 20-year-old on board after it was reported that the right-arm pacer had decided to leave Quetta.

Quetta now has received Islamabad’s first-round Platinum pick while the latter has bagged Quetta’s third-round Platinum pick.

There were strong rumours that Naseem might end up joining Multan Sultans, who recently got Iftikhar Ahmed in another swap deal, or Peshawar Zalmi, but Islamabad came out triumphant in the race to get the pacer’s signature.

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Pakistan women create history, win New Zealand T20I series 2-0




  • Pakistan women secure first-ever series win against White Ferns.
  • New Zealand women had a record of 8-0 against Pakistan women.
  • Aalia Riaz scored 32 off 22 hitting one shot over the boundary.

Pakistan women’s cricket team created history in Dunedin on Tuesday by edging past New Zealand women and securing their first-ever series win against the White Ferns.

New Zealand women had a record of 8-0 against Pakistan women in T20Is before the start of December 2023.

But, two back-to-back games changed everything for the Pakistani girls.

After winning the first game by 7 wickets at the same venue, the Girls in Green outclassed their opponents by 10 runs in 2nd game to ensure a decisive lead of 2-0.

The hosts were restricted to 127/7 by Pakistan after they managed to post 137/6.

For Pakistan, Aalia Riaz scored 32 off 22 hitting one shot over the boundary and three strokes to the fence. Muneeba Ali, the opener, scored 35.

In reply, New Zealand was once 89/6, thanks to disciplined bowling by Pakistanis before Georgia Pimmer and Hamma Rowe fought back and made an attempt to bring the hosts back into the game.

However, they remained 10 runs short as Fatima Sana successfully defended 17 off the last over.

Fatima Sana got 3 wickets while Sadia Iqbal sent 2 players back to the pavilion.

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