Pakistan take on Hong Kong in opener, UAE face Bangladesh


KARACHI: Pakistan took another step towards the revival of international cricket on Thursday when four teams will be in action in the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup at two different venues of the city here on Thursday (today). Pakistan is hosting pool B teams that includes Pakistan, UAE, Bangladesh and Hong Kong for the event – which is co-hosted by Sri Lanka. Pakistan will take on Hong Kong at National Stadium while UAE will face Bangladesh at the Southend Club Ground on opening day. Test cricketer Mohammad Rizwan, who is leading Pakistan’s side, said that his team had eyes on the final of the tournament. “We have our eyes on the final in Colombo,” Rizwan told media here Wednesday. “Teams like UAE, Hong Kong and Afghanistan can be dangerous as their emerging squads are not much different from the main team but we are confident of a good show here,” he said. He expressed his delight to be playing at home ground. “For long our home grounds were not actually ours but now steps are being taken and it’s good to be wearing green at home,” he said. Hong Kong captain Aizaz Khan said that his side had produced some good results recently and had the capacity to surprise any team. “We have played some good cricket recently and we are looking forward to a good competition in Karachi,” Aizaz added.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made foolproof security arrangements for the event which will continue will 9th December in Karachi as it sees the tournament as an opportunity to showcase its capability to host top-level cricket at its grounds. And the arrangements has impressed Bangladesh captain Nur ul Hassan who committed to convey positive report back to his board. “It’s a nice place to play cricket, I hope other teams also start touring Pakistan and I will also tell my board about the arrangements made here,” he said.

I don’t blame Sarfraz for my non-inclusion in team: Rizwan, wicketkeeper-batsman of Pakistan cricket team, said that he doesn’t blame Sarfaraz Ahmed for his non-inclusion in the team. He said he would play whenever playing for Pakistan would be in his fate. “I don’t think like that,” he said, when asked if he finds himself unlucky that the national team is currently led by a wicketkeeper and that blocks his way to the national squad. “I have played enough ODIs with Sarfaraz as batsman and that can happen in future too as there are teams travelling with two wicketkeepers,” he said. “But, I don’t think I’m not playing for Pakistan because of Sarfraz. I will play whenever it’s written for me,” he added. The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman from Peshawar expressed his delight on current form and said that he was in the best form of his career.

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