T20 World Cup 2021 is like a ‘home’ event for Pakistan: Babar Azam

Pakistan, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Champions in 2009, will open their campaign in the 2021 event against India


Pakistan captain Babar Azam is optimistic ahead of this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Pakistan, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Champions in 2009, will open their campaign in the 2021 event against India at the Dubai International Stadium on 24 October, as the ICC announced the schedule of the 16-team event.

The Babar Azam-led side will also face New Zealand and Afghanistan in Group 2 of the Super 12s stage, along with two qualifiers from Round 1. They will play New Zealand at the same venue on 27 October and take on Afghanistan in Dubai on 29 October.

“For Pakistan, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is like a home event as the UAE has been our venue for more than a decade. We have not only nurtured our talent and developed our side in the UAE but have also beaten the top sides in these conditions to peak to number-one in the ICC T20I Team Rankings,” said Azam in a press release issued by the ICC.

“The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 schedule announcement brings us one step forward in our preparations for this much-awaited global tournament. We will utilise the build-up period by playing in home series against New Zealand and England and will not only aim to fine-tune our final outlook but also win as many matches as possible so that we can carry that winning form and momentum to the United Arab Emirates,” he added.

“All the players are excited, motivated and enthusiastic, and view this tournament as an opportunity to showcase our prowess and re-establish our superiority in the shortest format of the game in conditions that suit us best,” he further stated.

“From a personal point of view, this will be my first ICC Major Event as Pakistan captain. I tasted success in 2017 and suffered disappointment in 2019 when we missed out on a semi-final spot by a fraction of a point despite beating both the finalists in league matches. I remain focused in inspiring my side with my performances so that we can become the first Pakistan side to win an ICC Major Event in Asia,” Azam concluded.

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