Pakistan cricketer Kamran Akmal has opined that the team will have a massive advantage in the T20 World Cup as they played international cricket for around a decade at a stretch in the UAE. However, he admitted that other countries would also benefit, as players from most nations feature in both the PSL and the IPL.
PSL 2021 recently concluded in the UAE, while the remainder of IPL 2021 will also be played at the same venue in September-October.
Following the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009, international cricket came to a halt in Pakistan and only resumed a few years ago. UAE became Pakistan’s home venue in the interim.
Speaking on the YouTube channel ‘My Master Cricket Coach’, Akmal explained why Pakistan would enjoy playing the T20 World Cup in the UAE. He said:
“Pakistan should have the biggest advantage in the T20 World Cup. We played international cricket for 9 to 10 years in the UAE. That makes Pakistan the most experienced side under the conditions.”
“Not only players from India and Pakistan but from those the other countries will also benefit going into the T20 World Cup since a lot of them are part of both PSL and IPL. Given the conditions in the UAE, Afghanistan can also prove to be a dangerous side, looking at the players that they have. So it is difficult to pick a favorite for the T20 World Cup,” he went on to add.
Apart from the obvious advantage of knowing the conditions very well, a lot will depend on what kind of team Pakistan take to the T20 World Cup, according to Akmal. He explained that the tours of England and West Indies will be significant in this regard. The Pakistan batsman stated:
“The matches should be competitive irrespective of the results. Both England and West Indies are very strong sides. England defeated Sri Lanka as if they were playing a club side. If Pakistan play tough series’ going into the T20 World Cup, it would benefit them. The team will get a better idea of their playing XI for the T20 World Cup after these two significant tours.”
Pakistan shouldn’t over-experiment with opening slots ahead of T20 World Cup: Kamran Akmal
While Mohammad Rizwan and captain Babar Azam have done a good job as T20 openers, there has been a lot of debate in Pakistan among former players and the media suggesting changes to the opening position.
According to Akmal, though, people are trying to fix something that isn’t broken. He claimed:
“Opening is not an issue for Pakistan. Some former players and the media are unnecessarily debating over stuff like why Sharjeel Khan should open. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have been opening for the last year. They have performed well and have developed a good understanding. They have won us ODI series and T20I series, so why spoil the opening combination without any reason? Players should not be fit forcefully. Look at how Azam and Rizwan perform in England and West Indies. If they don’t do well, then Pakistan can think about a change. Definitely not now.”
The 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE from October 17 to November 14. Incidentally, the final of IPL 2021 is likely to take place on October 15.
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