'We are not focused on only one team, we are focused on all other teams in the tournament' - Babar Azam on Pakistan's goal in upcoming ODI World Cup
Pakistan will start their WTC 2023-2023 cycle with an away series against Sri Lanka.
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Pakistan won the ODI World Cup back in 1992, under the inspirational leadership of Imran Khan. The Pakistani fans will hope for a similar performance in 2023 when Babar Azam's men travel to India to play the 50-over World Cup. If Pakistan can win the ODI World Cup after 32 years and that too at the home of their arch-rivals, euphoria amongst their fans will be unparallel.
While the focus is on the big-ticket clash between India and Pakistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 15, Pakistan's captain Babar Azam explained why his team is giving equal importance to all the matches they are going to play at the showpiece event.
"We are going to play World Cup and not just going to play against India only. There are eight other teams and it's not only India and only if we beat them then we will make it into the final. We are not focused on only one team, we are focused on all other teams in the tournament. Our plan is that we have to play well against all of them and win against them," the star batter told the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The 2022 T20 World Cup finalists will play in five different cities during the upcoming 50-over World Cup. Azam stated that playing well in different environments is a challenge that players should relish.
"You prepare yourself for different conditions and in every environment and that is what we call a challenge and you take it to live up to it,” the Pakistan skipper further continued.
“Me, as a player and captain, I aspire to score runs in every country, dominate and win Pakistan games. So this is all we have in mind and not only that we're going to play against one team," Azam added.
Pakistan begin WTC 2023-2025 cycle with an away series against Sri Lanka
After failing to make the finals of the World Test Championship in two consecutive editions, Babar Azam's men are determined to go the distance in the 2023-2025 cycle. Their campaign begins with a two-match Test series in Sri Lanka against Dimuth Karunaratne's men. The 28-year-old is hopeful that the presence of team director Mickey Arthur, who previously served as Sri Lanka's head coach, will help his team prepare better for the two-match Test series.
"Pakistan team will benefit from the input of Mickey Arthur as he was Sri Lanka’s head coach for a couple of years. He will have knowledge of the conditions in Sri Lanka and his experience with the side will further help us prepare for the upcoming series," Azam concluded.
Pakistan will play a two-day practice match beginning on July 11 in Sri Lanka. The first Test will begin on July 16 in Galle, whereas the second and final Test will be starting on July 24, in Colombo.