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No faction in my team, will take independent decisions: Babar Azam | Cricket News

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KARACHI: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who has been handed reins of the side in all formats, on Friday insisted that his team does not have any factions and he would like to emerge as an independent leader with support of senior players.
The Pakistan squad, including 35 players and 15 officials, will leave for New Zealand on November 23.
The senior team will play three T20 Internationals and two Tests while the Pakistan A side will be play two four-day games and four or five T20 matches in New Zealand.
Talking to the media in Lahore, Babar dismissed a query whether there was uneasiness among players over his captaincy credentials.
“This is a young team and there is no disharmony or groupings in our dressing room. The team is one. Every player respects and backs the other player and takes pride in their performances. No leg pulling in our team,” Babar said.
Babar also insisted that he felt no pressure with the added responsibility of being captain in all three formats besides being the top batsman in the side.
“I have always played with pressure. When I came into Pakistan team early on there was pressure on me to perform. We have to face challenges every day. Now there is a new challenge and responsibility and I will try to use my experience from white ball cricket,” he said.
“I take advice from seniors and have learnt a lot from Saifi (Sarfaraz) and even Azhar (Ali). Whatever I have learnt and what they taught me, I am trying to apply those things and if need arises I will talk to them but in the end I will take independent decisions according to my mind-set,” he said.
Babar said that added responsibility of captaincy in all three formats won’t affect his batting.
“I try to enjoy myself as a batsman and I enjoy challenging situations. I know the team relies on me and I enjoy playing under pressure, especially abroad.”
“We are going to New Zealand after having played a lot of cricket and we are excited as a team because we know our worth. We know that we have always performed well against New Zealand be it in New Zealand or anywhere else.”
He also said that if New Zealand had developed into a strong team and had some good individual players, the same was true about Pakistan.
“My main aim is to back and support my players. Especially those who are not performing well because they need the backing most. As a captain you have to show confidence in your players and back them only then they develop the confidence to do well.”
“I struggled early when I came into Test cricket but only started performing because of the confidence and backing I got from Mickey Arthur and Safi.”
Babar, to a question, admitted the New Zealand tour will be a litmus test for him as batsman and captain.
“What we are aiming to do is create a good combination of young and senior players and try to be more consistent. As a team we just have to give it our best shot. The results will not always be in your favour and not all the players can perform all the time.”
He also said that no team cane be taken lightly and every series is a challenge for a captain.


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Babar Azam appointed captain for all three formats and for a long time: PCB chief executive | Cricket News

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KARACHI: A top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board has made it clear that Babar Azam has been appointed captain for all three formats on a long-term basis.
“I can assure you that until Ehsan Mani and myself are in the Pakistan board Babar will remain captain.
“We have appointed him captain because he is our best batsman, young and mentally very strong and he himself wanted to take on the responsibility for all three formats,” PCB chief executive officer Wasim Khan said in an interview.

When the PCB official was reminded about the constant changing and chopping in Pakistan cricket, he insisted that Babar was there to stay for a long time.
“We felt that he is our best choice because he has a good future, he is our best batsman and getting better every day and we have found him to be mentally very strong when we first tested him as captain in the white ball formats.
“That’s why when the time came we felt that Azhar Ali had done his best but now was the time to start grooming Babar and make him test captain as well,” Khan said.
He said the chairman Mani had held a discussion with Babar and later on decided he was ready for the job.
“Babar himself showed keen interest in becoming Test captain and assured us he could handle the pressures and it would not affect his batting,” Khan added.


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Uncertainty prevails over T20 World Cup in India due to COVID-19, could be shifted to UAE: PCB | Cricket News

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KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan feels next year’s ICC T20 World Cup could be shifted to the UAE as “some element of uncertainty” still remains over whether India would be in a position to host the event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is still some uncertainty over the World T20 being held in India…yes because of the Covid situation there. It could be in the UAE,” Khan said in an interview to the Cricket Baaz YouTube channel.
Reminding that India had planned to host a home series against England and also the IPL in the first quarter of 2021, Khan said a clear picture would come only by April.
The ICC has awarded the 2021 World T20 to India and Australia will now host the 2022 edition with the 50-over World Cup also scheduled to be held in India in 2023.
Khan also reiterated that the PCB was waiting for a written confirmation from the ICC and BCCI by January on issuance of visas to the Pakistan squad for the World T20 in India.
“Yes Mani Sahab (PCB chief Ehsan Mani) has written to them and requested them that given the state of relations between India and Pakistan, it would be best if the ICC and BCCI gives a written assurance about the visas being issued to us,” Khan said.
He also disclosed that an online meeting of the Asian Cricket Council last week had tentatively set June as the time to host the postponed Asia Cup in Sri Lanka but the dates could be rescheduled if required.
“The next Asia Cup will be hosted in Sri Lanka in June and we have got hosting rights now for the 2022 Asia Cup,” he said.
Khan said that although bilateral series with India is still a distant reality because of the border tensions between the two countries, it is ICC’s responsibility to guarantee participation off all nations in any world event.
“But yes bilateral relations are not ideal and that is why we have also asked for the assurances for next year’s World Cup,” he said.
But the PCB CEO hoped that in future the situation could change as far as cricket relations are concerned between Indian and Pakistan.


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Babar Azam appointed captain for all three formats and for a long time: PCB chief executive

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KARACHI: A top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board has made it clear that Babar Azam has been appointed captain for all three formats on a long-term basis.

“I can assure you that until Ehsan Mani and myself are in the Pakistan board Babar will remain captain.

“We have appointed him captain because he is our best batsman, young and mentally very strong and he himself wanted to take on the responsibility for all three formats,” PCB chief executive officer Wasim Khan said in an interview.

When the PCB official was reminded about the constant changing and chopping in Pakistan cricket, he insisted that Babar was there to stay for a long time.

“We felt that he is our best choice because he has a good future, he is our best batsman and getting better every day and we have found him to be mentally very strong when we first tested him as captain in the white ball formats.

“That’s why when the time came we felt that Azhar Ali had done his best but now was the time to start grooming Babar and make him test captain as well,” Khan said.

He said the chairman Mani had held a discussion with Babar and later on decided he was ready for the job.

“Babar himself showed keen interest in becoming Test captain and assured us he could handle the pressures and it would not affect his batting,” Khan added.



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