Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, has delivered a powerful message to his team as they embark on a series of crucial matches leading up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

Starting with a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka from August 22, Pakistan’s schedule will be further packed with the Asia Cup. Babar Azam believes that Pakistan’s momentum is strong following their Test series victory in Sri Lanka. As the team hones its preparations for the World Cup in India, Babar expressed confidence in the team’s direction.

“We enter this series with good momentum following our Test series win here and we are eager to build on it,” Babar informed PCB Digital ahead of the Afghanistan series.

“We have a few new faces in the side, and I wish them good luck for the challenges ahead. Most of the boys have been playing cricket in different leagues, but when you don the Pakistan star, it is a different feeling altogether.” 

For the Afghanistan series, Pakistan has selected a group of 18 players. Newcomers like Tayyab Tahir have been included, and Faheem Ashraf makes a return to the squad. Saud Shakeel, who has shown promise in Test cricket, will have the opportunity to establish himself in the shorter format as he finds a place in the three-match ODI series squad.

“Tayyab Tahir had a good [Emerging Teams] Asia Cup and he performed well here in Sri Lanka, and everyone saw how Saud Shakeel played Tests here. I am especially impressed by how Saud has transformed into a modern-day batter in such a quick time.”

“This is a great sign for Pakistan cricket that he groomed himself according to the demands of the team, and whenever anyone does that, I get very happy.”

“We are focused in our preparations as we have big events in the Asia Cup and the World Cup coming up,” stated Babar. “The Afghanistan team is on the rise and they have some good bowlers.”

Babar Azam expressed enthusiasm about the presence of new faces in the squad. He highlighted the importance of having the entire team together as they approach three significant months of international cricket. While the Asia Cup and World Cup are key focal points, Babar emphasized taking things one series at a time. He also acknowledged Afghanistan’s rise in the cricketing world, praising them as a developing cricketing nation.

Babar also had a simple, yet powerful message for his team ahead of the busy season: “My message has always been to believe in yourself and make sure that you give your hundred percent in the field.”

Overall, Babar Azam’s message underscores the team’s commitment to their upcoming challenges and their determination to succeed in the upcoming series and tournaments.


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