Babar Azam has led Pakistan team well in the ongoing T20 World Cup and doesn't need to do anything differently in the semi-final against Australia on Thursday, PCB chairman and former skipper Ramiz Raja said on the eve of the game. Pakistan have comfortably won all their five games and are dubbed as favourites to beat Australia, who haven't been bad either.
"So far the Pakistan team has really done well and impressed us well with their consistent performances. I don't think Babar Azam needs to do anything differently in the semi-final against Australia. The team should just remain motivated and play fearlessly," Ramiz said in a statement.
Ramiz said that he was happy to see the Pakistan team shed the tag of being inconsistent performers by doing consistently well in the T20 World Cup and winning five matches in a row.
"The win over India was the result of a strong temperament while we beat New Zealand with some good planning while the win over the Afghanistan team came after playing their spinners well," he added.
He said that Babar's leadership, the players' self-belief and their humble behaviour on the field had been appreciated by everyone and had led to consistency in the team's performance as well. "You have qualified for the knock-out stage victory or defeat is not in any human's hand. But you should just continue to play good cricket and have self belief. The entire nation's prayers are with you."
Ramiz said he was just happy to see that no player is afraid of defeat and they are playing fearless cricket which is the brand of cricket Pakistan should always play. Ramiz, who took over as Chairman of the board on 13th September accepted Babar's request for changes in the squad before the World Cup, something which the Pakistan captain admitted on Tuesday had allowed him to lead the side more confidently and without fear of defeat.
Ramiz himself is flying to Dubai to attend the World Cup final and also the ICC board meeting, which is being held for the first time in person since the Covid-19 outbreak last year.
'Women's PSL also in my mind'
"Women's PSL is also on my mind. Hopefully, we can become the first cricket board in Asia to launch it (a women's T20 franchise league)," Ramiz said. PSL is Pakistan's professional franchise-based T20 league contested by six teams from six cities in the country.
Currently, Australia organises the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), while England held the inaugural 'The Hundred' tournament for women alongside the men's competition earlier this year.
A full-fledged women's Indian Premier League has been talked about a lot but nothing has materialised yet. Raja said the PCB also hopes to launch an Under-19 PSL as well, which will feature players from England, next year.
"In October, hopefully we will launch something like a PSL for Under-19 level. We are very excited because this has not happened anywhere in the world," Raja said.
"England will send their Under-19 players, we will look after them. We will create a new property," he added.
He also promised to host a full home season in Pakistan, which has not been possible as teams have been reluctant to travel to the country since the 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus. "Going ahead I will give you a home season."
Raja's comments came after an eventful week for the PCB. Australia, who last toured Pakistan in 1998, confirmed they will play a full series in the country for the first time in 24 years, next year.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO Tom Harrison then flew down to Pakistan to meet Raja and added two additional T20 Internationals to the five originally planned when England tour the country next year.