Pakistan limited-overs captain Babar Azam feels that a T20 World Cup, consisting of 10-12 teams can be played inside a bio-bubble, in case the COVID-19 pandemic does not cease.
The T20 World Cup was initially scheduled to be played in Australia this year. Due to the unrelenting situation, the 2020 edition of the tournament had to be postponed to 2022.
Babar explained upon being asked, “It is possible. Because we have been in the bubble for about two months. They have given us hotels that are attached to the ground and there has been no real problem. Not any complaints from any of the boys. We have got a lot of time to think about cricket, sit with each other and talk. There’s not much to do except play cricket, and that’s a good thing.”
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The next T20 World Cup will be held in India next year. said that with more than a year to go for that, the team can “utilize the time to prepare and plan, to think about what kind of team to pick based on the conditions.”
Pakistan start off their preparations for next year’s tournament tonight with the T20 series against England at Old Trafford. Babar feels that the squad needs only a change in mindset, coming off from a Test series.
“After playing red-ball cricket, when we play white-ball cricket, there is less time to practice… it becomes a game of mindset,” he said. “And T20 players have been practising in the bio-secure bubble. And we (those who played in the Test series versus England) also practised. It isn’t that difficult… just needs a bit of change in mindset. In T20 cricket, it is about trying to play with as much positive mindset as you can.
“I have previously said that it is about winning matches and series. We have a balanced team. There is Shoaib (Malik), there is (Mohammad) Hafeez. And then if you look at the bowling, there is Shaheen Shah (Afridi) and Wahab Riaz. There is Mohammad Amir and Haris Rauf. There is a good mix of seniors and juniors. So I’m hopeful that we can win the series.”
Babar also talked about the utility of leg-spin bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan in this format. He said, “The way Shadab Khan batted in the PSL, the way he bowled, it is in front of you (performance), so our thinking also would be to utilise him as much as we can, to think of sending him up the order when the situation demands. As far as our bowling is concerned, when youngsters come through from the PSL, more the time they spend with senior players, the better they will become.”