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T20 World Cup 2024: Pakistan will look to be positive: Babar Azam

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Pakistan captain Babar Azam called on his side to stay in high spirits as it begins its Twenty20 World Cup campaign off the back of a poor run of form.

Pakistan, T20 World Cup champion in 2009, has performed well in the past two editions of the competition, reaching the semifinals in 2021 and losing to England in the final in 2022.

However, its preparations for this year’s tournament in the United States and West Indies have been far from ideal, with a sobering defeat by Ireland in an eventual 2-1 series victory followed by a 2-0 defeat by England in a rain-affected series.

“Effort is in our hands, but results, we do not know,” Babar said in an episode of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) podcast released on Sunday.

“How we present ourselves on the ground, our body language and how we communicate with each other will matter. We must be positive, so results will come… Conditions in the USA may pose challenges as we are going there as a national side for the first time. We are in the process of collating various cricket and match-related information from players who have played there, which can help and assist us in our preparations.”

Pakistan is in Group A of the World Cup and begins its campaign against host U.S. on June 6. It will then take on archrival India in one of the event’s highly-anticipated matches three days later.

Pakistan and India have faced each other seven times at the T20 World Cup, with Pakistan winning just once.

“An India-Pakistan match is always the most talked about; it is discussed too much wherever you go in the world,” Babar said.

“The players get different vibes and excitement. What will happen is that everyone supports their country, so the focus is on that match. The whole world is focused on the day when the India-Pakistan match is held. Naturally, there will be nerves, but we need to keep our focus, stick to the basics and play easy cricket. It is always a pressure game; the more you keep cool and calm, believe in your skills and hard work, then things get easier.”

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