Pakistan’s familiarity with UAE conditions makes them favourites, Sana Mir says

(L to R) Sana Mir and Babar Azam. — AFP/Reuters/File
(L to R) Sana Mir and Babar Azam. — AFP/Reuters/File
  • It is hard to look past Pakistan, Sana Mir says.
  • Pakistan became “one of the best teams while playing there”.
  • “T20 cricket format has changed how cricket is played.”

KARACHI: Sana Mir, the former captain of Pakistan’s women’s cricket team, feels that Pakistan will have an advantage in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup due to the team’s familiarity with the conditions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a column for ICC, provided to the media, the former Pakistan women’s team captain added that the T20 format is unpredictable and it is impossible to pick a winner but keeping playing conditions in mind — she couldn’t think beyond Pakistan.

“With the conditions in mind, it is hard to look past Pakistan. They know UAE so well of course and became one of the best teams in the world while playing there, so I’m not just following my heart in predicting a good tournament for them. My head says the same thing,” she said.

“I like the look of England and the West Indies, while India and New Zealand will always be dangerous too and that’s the beauty of T20 cricket — it’s so open,” Mir said.

Sana highlighted that the T20 cricket format has changed how cricket is played — and it is exciting to see.

“It’s where skills are enhanced and new ideas are formed and that is why I am looking forward to this tournament,” she said.

“I think T20 cricket has benefited the other two formats and you see in Test cricket especially how confident batters are to display their skills. They can change the course of a Test in one session using shots that didn’t exist 20 years ago.

“Today, switch hits, ramp shots and paddle shots are all key parts of a batter’s arsenal, while we see off-spinners bowling leg-breaks as a variation and slow bouncers from bowlers,” she added.

Sana also said that the T20 format has helped women’s cricket in Pakistan and has helped Pakistani women learn to play attacking cricket.

“It’s a format that has changed the game and especially the women’s game. In Pakistan, women’s cricket is very different from what it was before,” she wrote.

“It has given us an opportunity to play a different brand of cricket. When I started with Pakistan, we were such a young and inexperienced squad, and learning to construct a 50-over game was not easy for us at the international level. But T20 changed that. It helped us to be more attacking,” the former Pakistan women captain said.

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