No 1 ranked Pakistan play Asia Cup opener in opposition to Nepal at this time


LAHORE – The Males’s ODI Asia Cup 2023 is lastly right here and it begins at this time (Wednesday) with Pakistan, the top-ranked One-Day Interna­tional facet, taking up Nepal within the Group-A conflict on the Multan Cricket Stadium. 

The competition marks many firsts as Nepal, as a group, and Multan, as a venue, make their debuts within the continental tourna­ment. It is usually a maiden contest between Pakistan and Nepal on the prime degree. The environment within the picturesque Multan Cricket Stadium guarantees to be electrify­ing for at this time’s conflict. 

Each groups will obtain large assist from the cricket-loving Multan followers. The followers will probably be handled with an ab­sorbing opening ceremony earlier than the match, which begins at 1430 PKT time. Pakistan’s final outing in Multan within the for­mat was in June final yr and the house facet loved resounding success over the West Indies by thrashing them 3-Zero within the three-match sequence. The group has performed 10 ODIs right here and gained seven. 

“It’s all the time a fantastic feeling to play in entrance of the passionate Multan crowd and all of us are very excited that the Asia Cup is starting from this metropolis,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam stated on the eve of the competition. “I wish to congratulate Nepal for qualify­ing for the Asia Cup and I hope that their participation will reinforce the devel­opment of the game within the nation. We’re trying ahead to taking part in Nepal and I’m positive it will likely be a superb contest.” 

Pakistan enter the Asia Cup with mo­mentum on their facet. They topped the ICC rankings for ODI groups on Saturday after securing a 3-Zero whitewash over Afghani­stan in Sri Lanka. That is the second in­stance of the group surmounting the chart since April. Pakistan additionally boast the perfect win/loss ratio of two.750 with 22 wins in 31 matches since on this World Cup cycle. The group has loved success throughout codecs at residence and away not too long ago. In April-Could, they levelled the T20 Worldwide sequence 2-2 and gained the five-match ODI sequence 4-1 in opposition to New Zealand, whitewashed Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka within the two-Take a look at sequence in July and defeated Afghanistan 3-Zero in ODIs in Sri Lanka this month. 

Captain Babar stated: “We enter this tour­nament with extra confidence. This group has put in a number of arduous work and energy over the previous few years and attaining the highest spot is a sworn statement to it. The job, how­ever, is just not achieved as we wish to win the Asia Cup and the World Cup. We’ve got some aggressive and thrilling subsequent few months lined up and we’re desperate to do nicely for our nation. 

“Each participant on this facet desires to win matches for his nation and raises their hand. They’re all the time able to put within the arduous yards and by no means shrink back from powerful and tough conditions. We’ve got had some wonderful previous couple of months and now it’s time to construct on the momen­tum,” Babar concluded. 

Pakistan will fly to Sri Lanka on 31 Au­gust to play India within the second Group-A match on 2 September at Kandy. The ven­ue may even host the third and remaining match of the group between India and Nepal on Four September. 

PAKISTAN SQUAD: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan (vc), Abdullah Shafique, Fa­heem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, If­tikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, M Haris (wk), M Nawaz, M Rizwan (wk), M Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Sha­keel, Shaheen Afridi and Usama Mir.

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