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Babar Azam aims to leave Asia Cup behind to win ICC World Cup 2023

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LAHORE: Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam on Tuesday, intended to learn from the mistakes made in Asia Cup 2023 and to give the best to win the ICC World Cup 2023 in India.

Babar Azam, while speaking at a press conference ahead of Pakistan’s departure for India, admitted that Pakistan did not play at their best in Asia Cup 2023, however, the team intends to improve.

“We could not deliver the way we should have, but we have learnt from our mistakes, as individuals and as a team. We have discussed all our mistakes as a team with the support staff,” he said.

“Asia Cup was a different tournament, the World Cup is entirely different in different conditions, so we will plan accordingly and give our best to win the World Cup,” he further added.

The 28-year-old batter also backed Pakistan’s squad for ICC World Cup 2023 amid criticism over the form of some players.

“I believe in my team more than myself. I know my players, they are capable of winning matches singlehandedly,” said Babar Azam. “These are the same players who helped Pakistan become the number-one team. I know they will give their best in the World Cup.”

He also showed confidence in vice-captain Shadab Khan and allrounder Mohammad Nawaz, who failed to live up to the mark in the Asia Cup.

“Our spinners have had a few bad days but they are not ordinary players. They have reached here on the back of their performances and I have full faith in them going into the World Cup.”

Babar Azam has represented Pakistan in 106 ODI matches, however, he will be playing in India for the first, like most of his teammates. He shared his excitement of playing in front of the Indian crowd.

“I am excited to play in Ahmedabad as it is the biggest stadium in the world and will be jam-packed,” he said. “I will try my best to perform up to my potential. However, I am not worried about my individual accolades, I want to make sure whatever I do helps the result for the team.”

He also urged Pakistans to support and pray for the team.

“The morale of the team is high and we are very confident. We will try to come back with the World Cup, we request you all to back us and pray for us.”

Pakistan’s contingent will depart for India in the wee hours of Wednesday and will reach Hyderabad via Dubai on Wednesday night.

Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023

Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.

Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan

Pakistan’s warm-up matches schedule:

  • September 29 — vs New Zealand in Hyderabad
  • October 3 — vs Australia in Hyderabad

Pakistan’s schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:

  • October 6 – vs Netherlands in Hyderabad
  • October 10 – vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad
  • October 14 – vs India in Ahmedabad
  • October 20 – vs Australia in Bengaluru
  • October 23 – vs Afghanistan in Chennai
  • October 27 – vs South Africa in Chennai
  • October 31 – vs Bangladesh in Kolkata
  • November 4 – vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)
  • November 11 – vs England in Kolkata

The day matches will start at 10:00 am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures, starting at 01:30 pm (PST).

READ: ‘I want a life after cricket,’ says Quinton de Kock ahead of ICC World Cup 2023

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