"Not Just India In India...": Babar Azam's Take On Pakistan's ICC World Cup 2023 Campaign
Babar Azam opened up about the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 and the Test series in Sri Lanka.
The rumblings in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will not have any bearing on the national team's performance in the ICC World Cup, or in the assignments prior to that, asserted skipper Babar Azam on Thursday. While addressing a press conference, Babar, one of the world's top batters at the moment, also said his team is looking at the World Cup as a whole and not just the marquee clash against arch-rivals India. When asked if the recent changes in the PCB leadership and selection committee affected the players, Babar said their work is to focus on cricket.
"We don't focus on what is happening in the PCB. We just focus on cricket. We have the entire schedule of our coming matches before us and we know what needs to be done to win matches as professionals," Babar said.
Regarding the October-November World Cup in India, he said, "We are not thinking only about playing and winning against India in the World Cup. We are looking at doing well in every match if we are to win the ICC title.
"We are going to play the World Cup not just India in India." Babar said the players are preparing for the back-to-back assignments lined up for them.
Asked how much pressure was there on the players knowing they had to go to India for the World Cup, Babar said as a team they were prepared to play anywhere.
"We have to play the World Cup wherever it is held and we are excited about the challenges ahead of us," he said.
He also said that the Pakistan team is working its plans for the Asia Cup and World Cup keeping in mind its strengths and the conditions in the host countries.
The Pakistan skipper said that the upcoming Test series in Sri Lanka would be challenging as it is the start of the new World Test Championship cycle for them.
"We will be guided by Mickey Arthur in Sri Lanka as he had also remained their coach and knows the conditions there well," he said.
Babar also felt that the Test series in Sri Lanka would help Pakistan in their preparations for the 50-over Asia Cup and World Cup.
"The formats are different but playing in conditions like Sri Lanka will help us prepare well," he said.