Pakistan seek to retain T20 top spot

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LAHORE.  — Pakistan are seeking to hold on to the top world ranking and also prove again the country is capable of hosting international cricket when they take on Bangladesh in a Twenty20 series starting today.

If the host team lose just one of the three matches scheduled they will slide to second behind England or India in the rankings after holding the top spot since January 2018.

But they also want to show the security situation has improved enough for the team to start regularly hosting home internationals.

Following an attack in 2009 by Islamist militants on a convoy ferrying the Sri Lanka team to a fixture in Lahore, Pakistan became a wilderness for the national side who had to play home fixtures in the Middle East.

That ended in December when Sri Lanka returned to give Pakistan their first home series in a decade.

The first priority for skipper Babar Azam is to stay top of the world in the shortest international version of the game.

“The focus is to continue the number one ranking,” said Babar yesterday.

“We can hang on to that only if we win all three matches, so it’s a do-or-die situation and we have planned for that,” he told a press conference.

Pakistan’s rise started in 2016 under Sarfaraz Ahmed as they won eleven consecutive Twenty20 series — before losing three on the trot. — AFP.

 

HERALD

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