Yasir Arafat calls Pakistan a "amateur team" before their first T20 World Cup match

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Babar Azam


Former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat has sharply criticized the performance of the Babar Azam-led team ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States. Yasir Arafat described the final T20 match during Pakistan’s tour of England as a clash between a professional team and an amateur team.

Pakistan suffered a 2-0 defeat to England in their last bilateral series before the World Cup. The first T20I of the series was abandoned due to rain. The visiting team lost the second game by 23 runs. The third game was also suspended due to rain. The hosts achieved a crushing seven-wicket victory in the final T20I.

Crowds also criticized Pakistan’s performance – Yasir Arafat

Yasir Arafat expressed his concerns about the Pakistan team ahead of their first match in the T20 World Cup. Arafat said Pakistan appears to be lagging behind in many factors, including skill, fitness and captaincy. He told how Pakistan can recover from such setbacks before the big tournament.

“I was at The Oval and it was like a professional team, England against an amateur team. Those in the crowd were also criticizing the Pakistan team’s performance there.” Arafat said.

“But the type of cricket they played was not professional. The world has moved on, but Pakistan seems to be lagging behind in many factors – skill, fitness and even captaincy. Morale will be low and it remains to be seen how they rise again from here. “, Arafat added.

Babar Azam was reappointed as white-ball captain ahead of the five-T20I series against New Zealand at home in April. The Babar Azam-led team struggled against the second-string New Zealand team. The Men in Green managed to draw the T20I series 2-2 despite picking a strong team.

Pakistan team’s woes continued in their subsequent series against Ireland away from home. They lost the first T20I of the three-match series by five wickets in Dublin on 10 May. However, the former World Cup champions claimed victories in the next two matches to clinch the series victory in Ireland.

The hope is always to lift the trophy – Babar Azam

After the series loss against England, captain Babar Azam expressed his excitement about playing in a major event like the World Cup. He stressed that the team aspires to lift the trophy but recognized the need to play the best cricket against all opponents.

“I am happy and excited because when you go to play in a big event, you have a different emotion. The goal of any cricketer is to play in a World Cup, so that kind of feeling comes over me. The hope is always to be able to lift the trophy, but for that to happen, we have to play the best cricket against all the teams,” Babar said.

Pakistan will face the United States in their first match of the T20 World Cup at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas on Thursday, June 6. The Men in Green will face India in their next match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York in June. 9. They will face Canada and Ireland in their final two group games.

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