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“It Is Not Like We Are In India…”: Babar Azam Bowled Over By Fans’ Welcome Ahead Of Cricket World Cup 2023

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Overwhelmed with hospitality since arriving in India, Babar Azam is completely feeling “at home” in Hyderabad but didn’t forgot to add that Pakistan cricket fans have been missed amid their build-up for the ODI World Cup. The Babar-led Pakistan side has been based in Hyderabad where they played two warm-up matches and will take on New Zealand on October 6 in their tournament-opener. A few days ago, PTI reported that the Pakistan Cricket Board has written to the ICC seeking prompt action on the visa process for its fans and media. “I think the hospitality was quite nice. We were not expecting this, but I think the way people are responding towards our team, everyone (has) enjoyed it,” Babar told the media here during ICC’s Captain’s Day event.

“We are (here since) a week in Hyderabad, so it is not like we are in India, (but) it (feels) like we are (at) home. We are enjoying (it) and I think it is a golden opportunity for everyone to give their 100 per cent and enjoy the tournament,” Babar added.

Babar said it would have been nice to see fans from Pakistan among the Hyderabad crowd.

“Since we came to Hyderabad, the hospitality we got, the way people welcomed us, from the airport to the hotel, the crowd in the ground and in the last match, we liked it a lot,” he said.

“It would have been better if we had fans from our side. We will try to get such support in every match, in every stadium, in every match,” he said.

The Pakistan captain said despite the absence of right-arm fast bowler Naseem Shah, bowling remains his team’s greatest strength.

“I think our strength is bowling. But as we know, we are playing (for the) last three years together. Most of the boys are the same. I think our strength is bowling,” he said.

Babar said his squad was excited to play against India on October 14 here at the world’s largest cricket stadium.

“Yes, we are very excited because we have come here for the first time,” he said.

“Before the 14th match, we have two matches. We are trying to go match-to-match and focus on each day. At the same time, we are excited about India and Pakistan as it is always a big match, so everyone is waiting for that match,” Babar added.

It has been many years since Pakistan players featured in the IPL as teams look to use their players’ knowledge and understanding of the conditions going into the World Cup. Babar said Pakistan players are under no pressure in such a scenario.

“I think there is no pressure, the conditions here are similar to Pakistan and Asian conditions. It’s been one week for us and we’ve played some practice and warm up matches, there is no difference,” he said.

“The boundaries are small. There is no margin for the bowlers. If the bowler is a little bit off, the batsman utilises it. There will be high scores,” Babar added.

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T20 World Cup 2024 Semi-Finals Full Schedule: Teams, Date, Time, Venues And More

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T20 World Cup 2024 Semi-Finals Full Schedule: Teams, Date, Time, Venues And More© AFP




The T20 World Cup 2024 is nearing its business end with India, Afghanistan, South Africa and England reaching the semi-finals of the competition. India remained unbeaten in the T20 World Cup 2024 Super 8 with victories over Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Australia. Meanwhile, Afghanistan pulled off a stunning victory over Australia and despite losing their game against India, they bounced back to a thrilling win over Bangladesh in their final Super 8 match. In the other group, South Africa on all of their three matches against England, United States and West Indies to book their spot in the Top 4. England won their games against West Indies and United States but slumped to a loss against South Africa.

T20 World Cup 2024 Semi-finals Full Schedule:

Semi-final 1: The first T20 World Cup 2024 semi-final will be played between South Africa and Afghanistan.

Date: June 27 | Time: 6 AM (IST) | Venue: Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad

Semi-final 2: The second T20 World Cup 2024 semi-final will see 2007 winners India take on defending champions England in a repeat of the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final.

Date: June 27 | Time: 8 PM (IST) | Venue: Providence Stadium, Guyana

Final: The winner of Semi-final 1 will face the winner of Semi-final 2 in the summit clash.

Date: June 29 | Time: 8 PM (IST) | Venue: Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

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West Indies Pacer, Infamous For ‘Notebook’ Feud With Virat Kohli, Reacts To Tanzim Hasan Sakib Send-off

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Bangladesh fast bowler Tanzim Hasan Sakib found himself in the news following a fiery send-off to Indian cricket team star batter Virat Kohli during their T20 World Cup 2024 Super 8 encounter on Saturday. Tanzim castled Kohli and followed it up with an aggressive celebration that became a subject of discussion on social media. While social media users had various things to say about the incident, another cricketer who once gave a send-off to Kohli has joined the conversation. West Indies fast bowler Kesrick Williams once gave an infamous ‘notebook’ send-off to Kohli – an action that resulted in the India star taking him to the cleaners during a match in 2017. Williams took to social media to react to a meme where his edited image seemed to be telling Tanzim to get ready for a similar onslaught.

“Kez 2-1 Kohli,” he wrote while quoting the meme on his Instagram story.

During the time when he used to be a regular for West Indies, Williams used to celebrate dismissals by writing the names of the batters in an imaginary notebook. He did a similar celebration against Kohli during a limited-overs series in West Indies but it did not go down well with the India star.

When West Indies toured India a few months later, Kohli slammed Williams for 32 off just 12 deliveries and even did the same ‘notebook celebration’ to taunt the West Indies cricketer.

Meanwhile, Australia opener David Warner came in support of Virat Kohli and said the batter faces a lot of unnecessary criticism for his strike rate.

“It’s just his passion for the game, like, he’s got a knack for indetermination just for scoring runs and hunger to score runs. You know, he cops a lot of criticism, which is not right. I don’t know why he cops it, but there are a lot of people out there who are big Virat supporters, like all of us,” he said on Star Sports.

“Now, we’re in awe of the great players that have played this game, and we’re fortunate to take the field with. So, you know, for him, he consistently goes about his business how he does. You know, he scores a lot of runs. He’s a good team man and he competes hard. And that’s what we like about coming up against the Indian cricket team,” he added.

(With IANS inputs)

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Rashid Khan Receives Call From Taliban Minister After Afghanistan’s Historic Win – Watch

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The Afghanistan cricket team continued their brilliant run of form in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 as they defeated Bangladesh in a thriller to book their spot in the semi-finals on Tuesday. This was the first time that Afghanistan qualified for the semi-finals of any International Cricket Council (ICC) event. The Rashid Khan-led side has been on a giant-killing spree with a win over New Zealand in the group stage and a sensational victory over Australia in the Super 8. Afghanistan needed a win over Bangladesh to book their semi-final berth and the result also meant that Australia were eliminated. Following the victory, Rashid received a call from Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

In a video posted by the Afghanistan Cricket Board on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Muttaqi was seen congratulating Rashid for the sensational victory. Muttaqi began the conversation with “Mubarak” and he had a special message for Rashid and the rest of the Afghanistan team.

Afghanistan will now face South Africa in the first T20 World Cup 2024 semi-final on Thursday.

“It’s something like a dream for us as a team being in the semifinal. It’s all about the way we have started the tournament. The belief came while we beat New Zealand. It’s unbelievable.”

“I don’t have any words to describe my feelings. Back home, everyone is so happy for this big achievement. The only guy who put us in the semifinal was Brian Lara and we proved that right. Before the competition at the welcome party, I told him, ‘We won’t let you down. We’ll make it through and prove you’re right.’ I am proud of this team. We thought 130-135 was a good total on this wicket.”

“We were 15-20 runs short. It was all about the mindset. We knew they would come hard at us to chase that in 12 overs to get into the semifinal. That’s where we could take advantage. If we bowled into the stumps, we had a better chance to getting them out. We didn’t have to do anything extra. We just had to be clear with our plans. We put in the effort, that’s in our hands,” Rashid Khan said.

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