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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

It’s a serious issue if youngster can’t watch their heroes live: Babar Azam on cricket behind closed doors

Babar Azam also 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.

By: AP | Islamabad | Updated: May 20, 2020 4:14:49 pm
Babar Azam 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. (File Photo)

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

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