Watching IPL on TV helps Pakistan get into the Indian groove – Magazine Creations

Pakistani players may be banned from competing in the Indian Premier League, but TV footage of the lucrative tournament played a role in the team’s inaugural World Cup victory.

Of Pakistan’s 15-man squad, only Mohammad Nawaz and Agha Salman have visited the country before the World Cup.

Nawaz was part of the team that played in the 2016 World Twenty20 while Salman featured for Lahore Lions in the 2014 T20 Champions League.

Current captain and star batsman Babar Azam was initially named in the T20 squad for 2016 but pulled out due to injury.

“We have come to India for the first time, so we don’t have much idea about playing in India,” admitted Saud Shakeel, man of the match in Pakistan’s win over Netherlands in Hyderabad on Friday.

“But we watched a bit of the Indian Premier League and some matches in Hyderabad, so that helped us.”

Shakeel certainly had few problems adapting to his new surroundings with a fine 68 in the 81-run win which helped Pakistan to victory over the Dutch.

Mohammad Rizwan also made 68 in a 120-run stand after Pakistan were reeling 38-3 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad.

Pakistani openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq were down 12 and 15 respectively while Azam managed just 18 five-ball knocks.

“The tournament has just started and we are playing in Hyderabad,” Shakeel said.

“Everyone knows that the ball stops early here on this pitch. There are chances of losing wickets.”

Pakistan will next face Sri Lanka on Tuesday, also in Hyderabad, before their eagerly awaited encounter against arch-rivals India in Ahmedabad on October 14.

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Updated: 07 October 2023, 12:04 PM IST


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