The wicket-keeper batsman and the rest of the 16-man squad departed from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal airport and is convinced his team can perform well in the six-team tournament.
“The team has prepared a lot for the tournament and we will try our best to perform well in all three categories,” Sarfraz said during a media interaction at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on Monday.
All eyes will be on Pakistan’s clash against arch-rivals India on September 19 and Sarfraz wants his side to be in peak condition by the time the game comes around.
“Every match against India is extremely important. Momentum is very important, so we’ll try to generate momentum in the first game and go into the fixture against India thoroughly prepared,” he said.
The last time the two neighbours met, Pakistan thumped India by 180 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy final in London last year. Sarfraz believes that result will have no bearing when the two teams take to the field against each other at Dubai.
“That match is in the past. It was almost one-and-a-half years ago. So I don’t think we should consider it that much. All professional teams put the past behind and look forward. Both teams will do the same,” he added.
The event also features Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and qualifier Hong Kong. The wicketkeeper-batsman lauded the quality in all six teams and believes there will be no easy games in the tournament.
“I’ve seen all the squads and they’re all very strong, no team can be taken lightly. Teams will have to play very good cricket if they are to win the tournament,” the Pakistan captain said.
Pakistan, who have been placed in group A, will begin their campaign on September 16 against minnows Hong Kong at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
UAE businessman Ajay Sethi, who won the rights to own the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars team in the now defunct T20 Global League, said he plans to sue the South Africa cricket board after they announced plans for a new-look T20 tournament.
Cricket South Africa on Saturday decided to go ahead with a new T20 league in place of the T20 Global League and Sethi said he will look to put a stay on any such plans.
“We were waiting for them to make their final decision, which they did on Saturday. We are going to put a stay. We own the teams. We are going to seek legal judgment,” Sethi told Sport360 on Monday.
The T20 Global League was called off last year after the South African board failed to find sponsors or a broadcast deal. The new league is expected to feature six city-based teams.
“Financial losses are a separate matter. No T20 league can happen. You can’t have owners, finish the draft stage and change your stance because of a TV deal. And then have a new league. This is not business,” Sethi added.
The Channel 2 group chairman said he plans to initiate legal proceedings in a week or so.
“We are four or five owners at the moment, so most are in support of us. We will see within a week or 10 days that legal action will be taken,” he added.
The Caribbean Premier League is approaching its business end with Trinbago Knight Riders topping the points table as the fight intensifies for a spot in the knockout stages.
As is the case with many T20 leagues across the world, wrist spinners are having a ball. The slow and dry surfaces in the West Indies have helped slow bowlers make a big impact. No surprises then that this season, the top two bowlers are leg-spinners.
Knight Riders’ Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed tops the charts with 15 wickets from nine matches at a superb economy of 6.5. His consistency has helped Trinbago register seven wins from nine matches. This is one of the most dominant performances in Pakistan-born Australian spinner’s career and will serve a reminder to the Australian management that he still has it in him to deliver at the top level.
Right next to him on the wickets table is South African spinner Imran Tahir. The Guyana Amazon Warriors spinner also has 15 wickets from nine matches at an even better economy of 6.1.
Tahir is still going strong at the age of 39 and his wicket-taking skills are not showing any signs of slowing down. Just goes to show that quality wrist spin will always be a potent weapon in T20 cricket.