Cricket

Pakistan captain Babar Azam hopes ICC T20 World Cup takes place, doesn’t matter if without fans

Babar Azam said he's praying he can lead Pakistan into a world tournament for the first time, and not too fussed if it can go ahead without spectators.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam hopes ICC T20 World Cup takes place, doesn’t matter if without fans

Islamabad: When cricket resumes, no team will be better prepared for playing in front of empty stands than Pakistan.

Pakistan did it for more than 10 years until last year.

File image of Pakistan's Babar Azam.

File image of Pakistan's Babar Azam.

The United Arab Emirates became Pakistan's home away from home after the 2009 terrorist attack against the Sri Lanka team convoy in Lahore. No teams were willing to go to Pakistan to play a Test until Sri Lanka last year in Rawalpindi.

“It’s ironic that we played our home cricket in front of almost empty stadia for 10 years and now the world is heading in that direction," Pakistan limited-overs captain Babar Azam said on Monday in a video news conference. "No team knows what it feels like playing in front of empty stands more than Pakistan.”

Babar was keen to learn the fate of the T20 World Cup in October and November in Australia when the International Cricket Council meets next week.

Babar said he's praying he can lead Pakistan into a world tournament for the first time, and not too fussed if it can go ahead without spectators.

“If the world will never be the same again (after the coronavirus), how can playing and watching be the same? Let’s understand and quickly embrace this,” he said.

What worried him most about live cricket without spectators was that he believed it will hurt the game's development.

“I fear for the growth and development of cricket,” he said. “It’s a serious issue for me if no youngster will watch his heroes live in action.”

Updated Date: May 18, 2020 21:40:43 IST

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