With the 12th edition of ICC cricket world cup starting from today May 30, the wait for this cricket carnival is coming to its end with less than 6 hours to go as the the glitzy opening ceremony has concluded at the iconic The Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace in central London.
The ceremony came to end with the official World Cup song Stand By being performed. The countdown has begun and the real action will begin tomorrow with England taking on South Africa in the opener.
Pakistan will begin their World Cup campaign against the West Indies in Nottingham on Friday as they will seek inspiration from their dramatic Champions Trophy win in England two years ago when they take the field in their opening World Cup match against a resurgent West Indies on Friday.
Pakistan have lost their past ten one-day internationals including a 5-0 whitewash by Australia and 4-0 thumping by England, and their problems were further compounded when they went down to outsiders Afghanistan by three wickets in a warm-up match.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has provided three reasons on why his side will shine at the World Cup, which begins in England and Wales on Thursday.
“We will seek inspiration from our Champions Trophy win because then also we were losing and then lifted ourselves at the right time to win the trophy,” Sarfaraz told AFP ahead of the game in Nottingham.
“The boys are motivated and are eager to put these losses behind them and by playing in England for a month we are well prepared and you will hopefully see us doing well.”
Sarfraz noted that Pakistan have done well in England in the past, as they won the 2009 World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy in 2017.
He also noted that the pitches in England are “excellent” and will benefit both the batsmen and bowlers throughout the World Cup.
Sarfraz also pointed out that Pakistan have a loyal fan base in England, which will help keep his side motivated during the showpiece event.
“The pitches will be good for bowlers and batters in this World Cup,” said Sarfraz.
“Pakistan’s past record in England is very good. For me, I love to play here because the pitches are excellent. We’ve got lots of support here too, so that’s why we play well in England.”
Sarfaraz also hope that his spearhead Mohammad Amir who is playing his first World Cup after missing the 2011 and 2015 editions due to a spot-fixing ban will shine at the World Cup.
“We know Amir is an impact bowler and he knows his responsibilities and I am sure he will lift his bowling and get us early wickets,” said Sarfaraz of Amir, who recovered from chickenpox in time to get a World Cup call after being left out of the preliminary squad.
Pakistan have only won three times in 10 World Cup matches against the two-time world champions, including a thumping 150-run loss at Christchurch in 2015.