Pakistan’s fortunes in limited-overs cricket have been on the rise this year with the historic Champions Trophy triumph being the cherry on the cake.
But while the results would have surely delighted Sarfraz Ahmed & Co., there is no denying the fact that the players are missing playing in front of their cricket-obsessed fans.
Well, Pakistan will have a chance to lift a trophy in front of the home crowd if they manage to beat Sri Lanka in the forthcoming three-match series and Sarfraz Ahmed feels there is nothing like lifting it in front of fans.
“I am very happy because we will be playing at home and if we can go on to lift the trophy in front of our fans then nothing like that,” Sarfraz said on the eve of the first T20I.
The first two matches of the three-match series will be played in the United Arabia Emirates before the teams move to Lahore for the third and final T20I.
Pakistan, meanwhile, is favourites to lift the trophy. They have already defeated Sri Lanka 5-0 in the ODIs, and with the Islanders being unable to field a full-strength side, the hosts are likely to win the upcoming series too. Seven of Sri Lanka’s regular T20 players including captain Upul Tharanga have opted out of the series citing security reasons while former captain Angelo Mathews is out with an injury. But despite that, Sarfraz is not willing to take the visitors lightly.
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“T20 is one format where you can’t say one team is favourite. They have a new team but in T20s the team that plays well on the day can make the game interesting. Our focus is on the first match as it is always important to start on a high and then target the remaining matches,” Sarfraz said.
Sarfraz also opened on the incident when a bookie approached him for spot-fixing. The Pakistan skipper had gone on to inform the PCB about it.
“Obviously I did my duty by informing. I was not scared when I informed about it but became scared after I saw myself on the television. There was so much talk about it on the television that made me scared. But by the grace of God, everything is getting normal. When you are going into a series you need to be normal, and everything is going good so far,” Sarfraz explained.