T20 World Cup: Canadian pacer eyes old friend Babar Azam’s wicket today

Canadian fast bowler Kaleem Sana talking to Geo News on June 10, 2024. —Screengrab/ Geo News 

As Pakistan and Canada vie today at the T20 World Cup, Canadian fast bowler Kaleem Sana aims to take wickets of Pakistani openers, Babar Azam and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan.

“Since I bowl with the new ball, so my targets will (obviously) be Rizwan and Babar,” said Pakistan-born Sana while talking to Geo News

The Pakistani-Canadian bowler, who is also an old friend of Babar, has played cricket for several years in Pakistan along the skipper till under-19.

Pakistan will play an important match against Canada at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York today as their T20 World Cup journey stands on thin ice.

Pakistan need to win both of their upcoming high-stakes group matches to stay in the tournament. Additionally, their World Cup chances are tied to the United States losing both of their matches against India and Ireland.

In their previous two World Cup matches, the Green Shirts suffered defeat against the US and India.

Today, Pakistan will take on Canada, who defeated Ireland by 12 runs, at 7:30pm PST.

The Canadian bowler said his childhood friendship with the opponents’ captain would definitely not be a hindrance in the competition and he would not be under pressure while bowling the world number four batsman. 

Sana said he had played with Pakistani players so he had an idea about their strength and weaknesses.

“When I got selected for Pakistan U-19 team in 2009, it felt great. Even during U-19 days, it was my dream to play for Pakistan’s national team,” he apprised.

The pacer said he played cricket with Babar for eight years since under-16 and he was selected for U-19 World Cup team in 2010.

“Babar was in the rival team, while I played my last first-class match in Pakistan,” he said, adding that though he was born and raised in Pakistan, he was a Canadian player now.

To a query, Sana said the support of his family and friends living in Pakistan would be divided in the Pakistan-Canada match as his family members would support him but would like Pakistan to win the match.

Sana said morale of Canadian team was quite high and they had prepared extremely well for the World Cup. They had designed a complete scheme to defeat Pakistan, he said, believing that the opponents would be under pressure after losing two matches consecutively.

Revealing Canada’s World Cup aim, Sana said his team had targeted winning two-three matches and his personal desire was to grab six to eight wickets in the mega tournament.

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