In a recent press conference at Gaddafi Stadium before their departure for the ICC Men’s World Cup, Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, shared his hope for a strong team performance. However, he also expressed the team’s regret for missing out on having Naseem Shah on their side for this significant event.
Babar Azam mentioned that the team’s spirits were high, aiming not just for the top four but aspiring to emerge as victorious champions. When asked about the team’s morale after the defeat in the Asia Cup, he emphasized that the team stood united like a family, displaying no grudges amongst the players.
He acknowledged that playing in India could be challenging, especially for those experiencing it for the first time. Nevertheless, he highlighted the team’s preparations and research about the conditions, emphasizing their aspiration to return with a trophy this time. Babar Azam also shared the team’s learnings from past tournaments and expressed confidence in their spinners, despite a few challenging days.
However, the absence of Naseem Shah was noted as a significant loss for the team. Babar Azam recognized the unique advantage that the combination of Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah’s bowling brought, making it difficult to find a suitable replacement. Hasan Ali was chosen due to his experience in World Cup matches. Babar Azam refrained from revealing specific strategies but conveyed that assessing conditions in India would guide their approach.
Looking ahead, Babar Azam conveyed his excitement about playing in Ahmedabad and committed to giving his best for the team. He emphasized setting personal targets and giving 100% effort on the field while leaving the results to fate. The World Cup, according to Babar Azam, presents a chance to become a hero, instilling a unique kind of confidence derived from performing on such a grand stage.