The Pakistan cricket team and its fans will witness a piece of history on Friday when the Men in Green take on Sri Lanka in the first ODI at the National Stadium in Karachi. Pakistan remained sidelined as an international cricket host ever since the Sri Lankan national team came under a terror attack in Lahore in March 2009. Not many teams have agreed to play on the country’s soil since then barring low-placed sides like Zimbabwe and the West Indies.
Sri Lanka played in Pakistan in 2017 but it was just a solitary T20I in Lahore. With a bilateral ODI series set to return to Karachi after a long time, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who is also a local cricketer, was ecstatic and he urged the fans “to be part of history”. It is also his side’s first engagement after the disappointing World Cup in England and he is under a lot of pressure to show some positive results.
Another Pakistani cricketer was also eagerly looking forward to the first ODI on September 27 for his personal glory and he is Babar Azam, arguably the best batsman of his team. The talented batsman, who will turn 25 next month, has been picked as the vice-captain of the Pakistan squad for the first time and he is eagerly waiting to take the field as the second-lead of his national team.
One of my biggest days
In a tweet, Babar Azam said that Friday will be one of his biggest days and urged his country and the crowd in Karachi to make it a special occasion for him. Babar, who had a decent stint for Somerset after the World Cup, will be playing for Pakistan for the first time since the showpiece event where he was his country’s highest scorer.
In 72 ODIs, he has scored over 3,200 runs at an average of 53 plus and he has 10 hundreds and 15 fifties to his credit in the 50-over format.
Friday will be one of my biggest days when I will take the field as Pakistan vice-captain. I will want the entire country as well as the National Stadium crowd to make this a day to remember for me. #PAKvSL pic.twitter.com/YbhfvHIIga
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) September 25, 2019
Babar is the No.1 batsman in the world in the T20Is and will be playing as his country’s vice-captain in the three-T20I series against Sri Lanka after the ODIs. He needs one fifty to get ahead of Mohammad Hafeez to register most number of half-centuries by a Pakistani in the shortest format. He has played only 30 matches to hit that many number of half-centuries.
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