Asia Cup 2018: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed criticizes scheduling of matches

Debasis Sen, Dubai:
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed on Tuesday expressed his frustration of having to shuttle between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to play their matches. While India are playing all its matches in Dubai, their cross-border nation will have to play at least two matches in Abu Dhabi which is an hour drive from Dubai.

On being asked about the scheduling of the tournament the Pakistan captain said, “If you look at the schedule, even if India lose pool match, they still play in Dubai. Traveling is an issue. If you have to travel 90 minutes and then play matches with a gap of a single day, then it is challenging.”

He added,“I believe it should have been same for all the teams, irrespective of whether it is India or Pakistan. I don’t know what was Asian Cricket Council’s thought behind this. I think PCB is looking into the matter.”

The Pakistan captain also expressed his concern for his main strike bowler Mohammad Amir.

Left-arm pacer Aamir has not been amongst the wickets in recent times.

“Take for example, India pacer (Mohammad) Shami’s case in England. He bowled well but couldn’t get wickets. I have spoken to him (Aamir) and told him that he is our strike bowler and has to pick wickets too. Hope he does that tomorrow,” Sarfraz told reporters.

Sarfraz was also asked about Virat Kohli’s absence but he felt that India may not miss their captain in these conditions.

“As a team not to have your regular captain is a factor. There could be a difference in the frame of mind. But they have enough players who have done well for them, and the conditions are also the same for them. If conditions are adverse then a world class player makes a difference,” Sarfraz said on the eve of the big game.

“Pressure is always there but we deal with it by telling ourselves that we should have the same intensity for every match. We take these matches normally but there is hype everywhere else, it does affect but we play it as just any other match.”

Pakistan got the better of India in the final of Champions Trophy last year, and Sarfraz said that the win will always remain special.

“That was past, that match was memorable, it would be remembered but it is a new match, new atmosphere, we would like to take the momentum of our last match into tomorrow’s game,” signed off Sarfraz.


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