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World Cup 2019: Reason why Pakistan players are sporting black armbands against Australia

Pakistan opted to bowl first after winning the toss.

Pakistan black armband
Pakistan black armband. (Photo Source: Hotstar)

After a gap of two days, the rain has finally relented to let the World Cup match happen. While the game between South Africa and Windies was washed out after 7.3 overs of action, the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh encounter was abandoned without even toss. It was good to see the heaven gods relenting in Taunton and though it was cloudy, the toss took place for the game between Australia and Pakistan.

However, many were perplexed to see the Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed donning the black armbands on his right hand. He himself cleared at the toss that they were wearing the same in honour of Pakistan’s Test umpire Riazuddin who passed away earlier this week. Riazuddin was part of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires and officiated in 12 Test matches and as many One-Day Internationals during his tenure at the highest level.

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According to The Nation, Riazuddin passed away due to the heart attack. He was aged 60 and the cricketing fraternity offered its heartfelt condolences over his demise. “One of our Test umpires (Riazuddin) has passed away, and in honour of him, we’re all going to wear black bands today,” Sarfaraz said at the toss.

Pakistan opt to bowl first

As far as the match is concerned, Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl first to take advantage of the cloudy conditions in Taunton. They went in with the all-pace attack in the game. Shadab Khan, the specialist spinner was benched while Shaheen Afridi replaced him. Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik are the spinners in the team now who are expected to share the fifth bowler’s quota for the team.

Even Australia went in with an all-pace attack. They dropped the leggie Adam Zampa to accommodate Kane Richardson in the side. With Marcus Stoinis also ruled out, Shaun Marsh came into the side which makes it clear that Glenn Maxwell will have to bowl all the 10 overs being the only fifth bowler in the side.

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