LAHORE: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam Saturday held a virtual press conference where he defended changes to the T20 World Cup squad, saying that some players were not in a “fine touch” during the National T20 Cup.
In a virtual press conference from UAE, the Pakistani skipper spoke about the squad selection, preparations for the T20 World Cup, conditions in the UAE and other matters.
“Some players were not in a fine touch during the domestic tournament,” said the Pakistan skipper. “Changes were made to the squad since some players were not able to perform well.”
Babar Azam welcomed the inclusion of left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman, all-rounder Shoaib Malik and Haider Ali. He said the players had benefited from the experience of playing in the National T20 Cup.
“Shoaib Malik is an experienced player who is also considered among the fit members of our squad,” he said. “However, we have to make a plan on including him in the playing XI squad.”
However, he said the team management will decide on a plan
“We also partook in a training camp after the National T20 Cup,” he said. “All the players were grouped there so it benefited us.”
‘Representing Pakistan in T20 World Cup is a matter of pride for me’
Babar Azam also spoke about representing Pakistan for the first time in a major ICC event as a skipper, saying that representing the country is a matter of pride for him.
“However, captaining the team in a mega event is a challenging role for me,” he acknowledged.
Azam said that he felt happy at being given the opportunity to do so.
He said the team was focused on putting up a strong showing during the World Cup. “You derive confidence from impressive performances,” he said. “I am in form, hence it will benefit me,” he added.
Azam said he was looking forward to the tournament getting underway. He said when Pakistan won the T20 World Cup in 2009, it was a moment of pride for him.
“We will try our best to recapture that moment again,” he said.
Speaking about conditions in the UAE, Babar Azam said the team had played a lot of cricket here. However, he emphasised the importance of the team playing impressive cricket in all three departments of the game.
He lamented that the team had not played its scheduled international series against New Zealand and England.