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I don’t need to satisfy or answer anyone: Babar Azam

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Ahead of the three-match ODI series with New Zealand, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam Sunday responded to the criticism directed towards his captaincy.

The 28-year-old captain spoke about being focused on winning matches for the country rather than paying heed to the criticism.

“My job is to play cricket and enjoy it. I don’t need to satisfy or answer anyone. I know what my game and responsibility are while batting or captaincy. I don’t need to make anyone happy, my job is to win matches for Pakistan,” Babar said while addressing a press conference in Karachi.

The skipper also remained tight-lipped on Pakistan’s playing XI for the first ODI match against the Kiwis which is set to take place on Monday, January 9.

“I have not looked at the pitch. We will decide on our playing XI after assessing it. We will try to field our best XI,” Babar said, adding that the team will try to continue their momentum in white-ball cricket.

The Pakistan skipper also stated that the selectors and team management are on the same page.

“The captain, coach and chief selector are on the same page because that’s important for the betterment of the team. We conveyed our opinion to the chief selector on the selection of players,” he said.

Pakistan have a chance to become the number one ODI team in the world during the upcoming series against New Zealand.

If Pakistan whitewash New Zealand 3-0 during the three-match series, they will jump to the number one spot in the rankings with 114 rating points.

The Men in Green are currently in fifth place with 107 rating points. Meanwhile, New Zealand are at the top of the table with 116 rating points.

If Pakistan win the ODIs against New Zealand, it will be their fourth series win in a row.

In their previous three ODI series, Pakistan have defeated Netherlands, West Indies and Australia.

Schedule

9 January – 1st ODI, Karachi

11 January – 2nd ODI, Karachi

13 January – 3rd ODI, Karachi

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Pakistan has advanced to the Women’s Asia Cup 2024 semifinals.

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GreenshirtsWith a 10-wicket victory over the UAE, the Pakistani women’s cricket team advanced to the Women’s Asia Cup 2024 semifinal. Target: 104 runs in 14 overs were pursued by the Greenshirts.

When playing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Pakistani women’s team won the toss and chose to field.

Captain Nida Dar of the Pakistan women’s cricket team remarked, “The bowlers’ performance in the last match was excellent, and the win against Nepal boosted morale.”

Pakistan’s starting eleven remains unchanged.

Dambulla, a town in Sri Lanka, is the site of the match.

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The ICC has approved the budget for Pakistan’s 2025 Champions Trophy.

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The specifics state that on the final day of its yearly meeting, the ICC approved the budget.

High-ranking representatives from various cricket boards, including Mohsin Naqvi, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), attended the ICC’s annual meeting.

Ankur Khanna, the chief finance officer of the ICC, and Javed Murtaza, the chief finance officer of the PCB, created the budget for the eight-team competition.

For those who are unaware, the Champions Trophy 2025 is set to take place in Pakistan in February and March. India is expected to participate in the tournament, although this is subject to change as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is awaiting government consent to travel there.

The Indian squad will not be visiting Pakistan for the forthcoming ICC event, according to reports that surfaced in Indian media, which cited a BCCI source.

Additional reports stated that the board intends to formally suggest Sri Lanka and Dubai as possible locations for India’s matches.

However, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla claimed in a phone interview with an Indian media outlet that the cricket association has not released any information about their team’s Champions Trophy 2025 participation.

The source of this information is unknown to us. Shukla said over the phone to ThePrint that BCCI has not released any formal information on this.

Recall that India declined to go to Pakistan in order to compete in the 2023 ACC Men’s Asia Cup. Consequently, Sri Lanka assumed the role of co-host for the continental event, which was conducted using a hybrid approach.

It is noteworthy that because of the protracted political tensions between the two neighbours, India has not visited Pakistan since the Asia Cup in 2008.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has visited India four times in the previous 16 years. They were in town for the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 last year, which was their most recent visit.

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Babar Azam identifies the most challenging bowler he has encountered.

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Azam made an appearance on AB de Villiers’ official YouTube channel, where he was questioned about the most challenging bowler he has encountered.

The Pakistan captain promptly replied, “Pat Cummins.”

De Villiers concurred with Azam’s statement, affirming, “Indeed, I concur.” He is in close proximity. “He is one of the most resilient bowlers I have ever encountered.”

It is noteworthy that Cummins has dismissed Babar Azam three times in Test cricket and only once in white-ball cricket.

The opening batter also stated that he seeks guidance from Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root to further his batting skills.

“I engage in frequent conversations with Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root.” They consistently offer valuable advise that greatly benefits you. “I have gained a wealth of knowledge from these players,” he declared.

The prominent hitter also said that his family encountered economic difficulties during his early years, but they offered him steadfast encouragement on his path to achievement.

“I come from a modest background, and we didn’t have a constant flow of money.” However, my parents provided me with significant assistance. “During my childhood, I used to engage in street cricket, and I found it quite challenging to play with a hard ball,” he remarked.

Babar Azam is presently preparing for the forthcoming two-match domestic Test series against Bangladesh, slated to take place in August.

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