Pakistan and Bangladesh will kick off the three-day T20I series on Friday at the city’s Gaddafi Stadium. The teams’ respective captains, Babar Azam and Mahmudullah, had unveiled the series trophy a day earlier.
In the trophy-unveiling press conference, Azam said the team’s focus was to maintain their top world T20I ranking. If the hosts team lose just one of the three matches, their ranking would see a slip to stand behind England or India.
“The focus is to continue the number one ranking,” Babar said. “We can hang on to that only if we win all three matches, so its a do-or-die situation and we have planned for that,” he told a press conference.
As for the guests’ captain, he said security was a thing of the past and that the team would maintain their focus on putting on a good show.
“We feel good in Pakistan … so the focus will be on cricket,” said the Bangladesh skipper. Earlier, led by all-rounder Mahmudullah, the Bangladesh cricket team arrived in Lahore in a chartered flight late on Wednesday to play a three-match T20 series at the Gaddafi Stadium, in the first phase of their tour.
The matches will be played on Friday, Saturday and Monday, starting at 2pm. Under strict security measures, the visiting team reached the hotel from the airport. At the airport, it was welcomed by PCB officials. The visiting team will hold a practice session at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday (today) before addressing a press conference.
In the second phase of the tour, the team will return to Pakistan to play first Test in Rawalpindi from Feb 7 to 12. In the last phase, it will come again and land in Karachi on April 1 to play one-off One-Day International on April 3 and the second Test from April 5.
The team includes captain Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal Khan, Soumya Sarkar, Naim Sheikh, Najmul Hossain, Litton Das, MD Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mahadi Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Hasan Mahmud.—Agencies