Saturday Oct 23, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan threw his weight behind the Pakistan cricket team on Saturday, expressing the hope that the Babar Azam-led squad will thrash India in the T20 World Cup clash tomorrow (Sunday).
The prime minister wished the team well ahead of its high-voltage encounter against India. Millions across the globe will watch the encounter as the two arch-rivals play each other in the World Cup fixture.
The statement from the prime minister came as he discussed cricket with his aides. "This team has the talent to defeat India," he said.
"Insha'Allah, Pakistan will definitely beat India tomorrow," he said.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam Thursday warned India, saying that the national squad will not think of Pakistan's past performances when it clashes with India on Sunday.
Pakistan have lost all seven World Cup (50 over) clashes against India as well as five games in the Twenty20 World Cup and start as "underdogs".
Exuding confidence, Babar stressed that the past is irrelevant to his players.
"To be honest, what has passed is beyond us," Babar told a virtual media conference on Saturday, as both nations buzzed in anticipation of a thrilling match.
"We want to use our ability and confidence on the day of the match so that we can get a better result.
"Records are meant to be broken."
The tickets for the match were sold out within hours of going on sale after the United Arab Emirates government allowed a 70% crowd for the Twenty20 World Cup matches in a relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The South Asian nuclear rivals have only played in multi-national events like the World Cups and the Champions Trophy as strained relations have stalled bilateral cricket since 2007.
Pakistan did tour India in 2012 for five limited over matches but ties were not fully resumed as the two nations continued to be at loggerheads over multiple issues, with the Kashmir issue and terrorism heading the list.
Babar admitted it will be a match full of intensity.
"The matches between Pakistan and India are always full of intensity so we need to perform well in all three departments of the game," said Babar.
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