Sarfraz says his players are prepared to handle challenging conditions in the UAE
Sarfraz is in the UAE leading the men in green for the upcoming Asia Cup, which also involves India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.
Pakistan are the seen as the favourites to win the tournament as they have been playing in the UAE full-time since 2009 and have a full-strength side for the Asia Cup. India are without talismanic captain Virat Kohli.
The experience of local conditions gives Sarfraz’s team and edge and the captain also believes it’s a matter of pride for him that his country has helped raise the profile of UAE as a cricketing hub.
“There is no doubt Pakistan cricket board has played a major role in promoting UAE cricket. Credit goes to PCB as there was no cricket in Sharjah since 2002-03,” Sarfraz told ARY news channel.
“But ever since Pakistan has come here to play, we now see they are having the Emirates league, Afghanistan T20 league, T10, IPL matches have been held here, PSL is here. It’s because of Pakistan cricket team and board that cricket has been revived in UAE.”
Knowledge of local conditions is what gives Pakistan the edge in the tournament and Sarfraz said his team has prepared for conditions and weather.
“We have trained very well. We had good preparation in Lahore, played a practice match as well. Batsmen look in good nick, bowlers did well. The morale is very high.
“UAE conditions keep changing. At this time, weather is hot and humid. We have prepared for that. Training is very important for this weather.”