HYDERABAD – The much-anticipated moment for the Pakistan cricket fans arrives tomorrow (Friday) as Pakistan begin their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign against the Netherlands at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.
Since arriving in the city eight days ago, which also marked the first instance of a Pakistan men’s side landing in India in seven years, the Babar Azam’s side has made the most of the training sessions and two warm-up games to acclimatise in the city where they play first two of their nine league matches.
The warm-up games against New Zealand and Australia also served opportunities to Pakistan to fine-tune their combinations and provide the much-needed match time to the entire squad.
“We have been in Hyderabad for a week and our preparations have been really good,” Babar told PCB Digital on the eve of Pakistan’s tournament opener. “We have had two practice matches in which we tried different combinations and gave everyone an opportunity to see if they could play in any situation. Overall our practice went well and we will give our best.”
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“Both bowling and batting are our strengths,” Babar replied when asked what he felt his side’s strengths are. “Our batters have been performing from the top-order down to the lower-order. Every player is stepping up and taking responsibility. In bowling, our fast bowling has always been our strength but even our spinners are showing promise. Since we have come to India, we have seen our spinners take wickets in the middle overs, which is a good sign. We will try and keep this momentum going.”
When Pakistan take on the Netherlands on Friday, it will be the first time in a little less than in 11 years that they will play an ODI on the Indian soil. They have not played a single 50-over international game in Hyderabad since 1987, but the team has made sure that they have all preparations in place for the mega-event.
“As far as my experience goes, and having watched matches in India on television, I’ll say the pitches seem really good. Matches are going to be high scoring. As for the boundaries, they are normal-sized, not too small but not too big either. The pitches are true – sometimes you need a little more time (as a batter) early on (in the game), but once you play on it for a while it feels really good. There is not much margin for the bowlers as they have to keep their lines wicket-to-wicket and deploy variations. If they err in lines, then the batters are going to make the most of it.”
Speaking about his last four years, the Pakistan captain said, “My journey has been really good. There have been ups and downs, which is natural. There have been challenges at times, but I have tried to live up to the expectations of the fans. I have met a lot of good people in the process. I met some very good teammates and was able to forge a bond with them. It has been three years since I have been playing with these boys so we have bonded well in this time. At the end of the day, we spend more time with each other than we get to spend with our families. We try to be happy with each other's performance and try to give our best for Pakistan.”
Recalling the Pakistan team’s reception at the Hyderabad airport last week, Babar expressed his gratitude towards the Indian people who have turned up in numbers to greet his side, and expressed hope that he will soon see the Pakistan fans across the country in the World Cup cheering their side.
“We weren't expecting such a reception, to be honest. Many people showed up at the airport when we arrived here. They cheered for us and showed us support. A large crowd turned up in the last match. They seemed to really enjoy the game and they showed support for some of their favourite players. So it feels nice. I feel if we would have Pakistani fans here, it will feel even better.”
Pakistani rupee continued its momentum against the US dollar, and orther currencies in the open market on Thursday, as the local currency also improved in the inter-bank market.
On Thursday, the US dollar moved down and was being quoted at 283.2 for buying and 286.15 for selling.
Euro comes down to 308 for buying and 311 for selling. British Pound rate dropped to 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.4 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||358.5||362|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.41||36.76|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||174.54||176.54|
Gold price in Pakistan remained under pressure as the yellow metal moved down despite an upward trend in the international market.
On Thursday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,100 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,130.
Single tola of 22 Karat Gold costs Rs199,000, 21 karat rate for per tola is Rs189,960 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,825.00 for each tola.
In the global market, gold prices hover at around $2026, gaining $8.30 on Thursday.
Today Gold Price in Pakistan (4 September 2023)
|Lahore||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Karachi||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Islamabad||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Peshawar||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Quetta||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Sialkot||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Attock||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Gujranwala||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Jehlum||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Multan||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Gujrat||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Nawabshah||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Chakwal||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Hyderabad||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Nowshehra||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Sargodha||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Faisalabad||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|
|Mirpur||PKR 217,100||PKR 2,565|