Babar Azam's squad ready for Nepal challenge in Asia Cup opener
By News Desk
August 29, 2023 10:18 PM
In anticipation of their inaugural Asia Cup match against Nepal, Pakistan has unveiled its playing XI. The match is scheduled to unfold at the scenic Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday in what is the Group-A clash.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the lineup via X, the platform previously recognized as Twitter, detailing the selected players for the contest. The playing XI will see Babar Azam leading the squad, with Shadab Khan as vice-captain. Joining them are Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf.
Babar Azam, while addressing a press conference, emphasized that underestimating rival teams isn't an option for the Green Shirts. “Our performance in the series against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka is a benchmark we aspire to sustain,” he remarked.
The charismatic captain noted the team's rise to the zenith of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) one-day international (ODI) rankings. Despite facing criticism, the team's commitment to the sport remained unwavering. "Our collective vision overrides individual pursuits. While the squad is in prime form, we remain open to adjustments as we gear up for the World Cup," Babar added.
This match will be historic on multiple fronts: Multan Cricket Stadium is hosting its first Asia Cup match, and this will be the first top-level encounter between Pakistan and Nepal.
Cricket enthusiasts can anticipate a captivating start to the tournament, with an opening ceremony scheduled prior to the 2:30 pm match kickoff.
Holding the prestige of being the number one ODI team, Pakistan enters the Asia Cup with confidence. Babar downplayed the pressure of this status, saying, “Our achievements are fruits of relentless effort. Our vision is set on both the Asia Cup and the World Cup triumphs."
Following this, Pakistan will be jetting off to Sri Lanka on August 31, setting the stage for their next Group-A encounter against India on September 2 in Kandy.