Babar Azam’s leadership ‘important’ in T20 World Cup, says Daren Sammy

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Pakistani skipper Babar Azam’s leadership skills in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup will be very “important” for his team throughout the tournament, former West Indies captain Daren Sammy said Friday.

The West Indies cricketer’s comments came during the ICC World Cup digital preview show — where he exchanged views on the upcoming tournament with English cricket commentator Isa Guha and Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik.

Sammy said everyone knew how classy Babar is as a batsman.

The former West Indies skipper said if Babar was to make sound decisions — from a captaincy point of view — and if he could rotate the bowlers well, then Pakistan would be a force to reckon with.

Speaking about the Asian teams playing in the tournament, he said they are used to the UAE conditions. “Afghanistan […] and Pakistan have played all their cricket in UAE.”

Darren Sammy said the upcoming tournament would “be the best” to date, as the teams are ready — to step into the biggest tournament that the ICC will hold post-pandemic.

Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik said although he wanted Pakistan and India to top their group (B), he expects the Men In Blue and New Zealand to come out on the top as the Kiwis have a way “to push above their weight” in multi-nation tournaments.

“Every time India has played Pakistan, be it bilateral or multi-nation tournaments, those are the most-watched matches,” the Indian cricketer said.

However, he pointed out that just like New Zealand have had an upper hand on India — as they have won every match against the Men In Blue in world cups since 2003 — India has an advantage over Pakistan, as they have never lost any world cup match against green shirts to date.

“That’s a record we (India) would love to hold up.”

India and Pakistan are set to face off in the Super 12s stage of the 2021 men’s T20 World Cup, which will take place in the UAE and Oman from October 17.

Millions of fans will be eager to witness Pakistan begin their bid for the trophy with a high-octane clash against India on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

T20 world cup like a home event, says Babar

Reacting to the release of the schedule, Pakistan skipper Babar had said it was like a home event for the team since it was taking place in the UAE.

“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,” he said.

“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 said. 

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