T20 World Cup


With the T20 Cricket World Cup scheduled to begin this week, Pakistani cricket fans are excited to see the men in green back on the pitch after a while. The return of cricket means even more for both the team and the fans given how two home series against New Zealand and England were recently cancelled.
It would be safe to say that the Pakistan team fares best in the T20 format since the Test team has struggled following the retirement of senior players like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan. In recent years however, team Pakistan’s dominance in the T20’s has also dipped with the departure of former head coach Mickey Arthur. Things in Pakistan cricket are always in flux though. In the run up to this tournament, the PCB announced Ramiz Raja as its new Chairman, and there have been sweeping changes at coaching and administrative level, with Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis and Wasim Khan all taking their leave.
For most teams, such drastic changes prior to a World Cup would be unsettling to say the least. Pakistani fans however, have come to romanticise this manner of decision-making, claiming that the team performs best under such periods of uncertainty and chaos.
Regardless of such concerns, there is a lot going for this team under the leadership of Babar Azam. With Mohammad Rizwan experiencing a prolonged purple patch and the infusion of young talent from the domestic circuit, Pakistan undoubtedly possesses one of the most complete T20 squads. Getting off to a positive start will go a long way, especially considering that the first game is against archrivals India on October 24. While the warm-up games should help the players acclimatise to the conditions in the UAE, history suggests that those games have little bearing when the tournament begins.
Though Pakistan has never beaten India in a World Cup tournament (ODI and T2O), several players in this squad have fond memories of beating them in the Champions Trophy not too long ago. The unpredictability of this format also gives us an edge, so here’s hoping that the men in green get off to a flying start in the tournament.