‘Didn’t feel unsafe’, Babar Azam rebuffs security concerns in Sri Lanka

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam speaks to media in Sri Lanka. — PCB
  • Babar Azam says “Sri Lanka Cricket has looked after us really well and security provided to us is great”.
  • Says team will try their best to perform well in series and is well prepared for task.
  • Says, “I sent a message to Kohli to extend him support.”

GALLE: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam Friday expressed confidence in the security arrangements for the national Test squad that is visiting Galle for a Test series, as Sri Lanka goes through countrywide protests against the president and prime minister seeking their resignations.

Speaking to the press ahead of the first of the two-match series slated to begin July 16 at Galle International Stadium, Babar said that the team is being “looked after well” by the local authorities.

The squad arrived in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo last week when the economic crisis sparked protests there, forcing Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign as the country’s president. The team played a three-day warm-up match in the capital and then travelled to Galle.

“We didn’t feel unsafe here in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Cricket has looked after us really well and the security provided to us is great,” the Pakistani captain said, adding they also played a warm-up game there so everything was fine and they were focused on the series.

“There were no hurdles that made us feel unsafe.”

The star batter said Sri Lankan people love cricket and they saw a lot of enthusiasm in the Test series against Australia.

“We hope fans will come to the stadium in this series as well.”

‘We are prepared for Test series’

The Pakistani captain said that the team will try its best to perform well in the series and was well prepared for the task.

“I like the ground in Galle. The Sri Lankan team is very tough in home conditions,” Babar Azam said, adding that Australia’s series first gave the team an idea of what the conditions would be like.

“We have come here to play after a long time, we have done our homework.”

Galle pitch supports spinners a lot, the skipper said. “Sri Lankan spinners are very good and we have prepared accordingly.”

Defending the inclusion of Yasir Shah in the squad, Babar said he has come back after hard work and hoped that he will give a tough time to the rival team.

‘Virat Kohli needs support’

In a message of support to former Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who is going through a rough patch, Babar said that as a player, he knows how to get through and out of tough situations.

“Players need sport at such a time, I sent a message to Kohli to give him support.”

Babar said that Kohli was a great player and played a lot of cricket.

“Virat Kohli knows how to get out of these things, it takes time but we should lend him support so he comes of out it sooner than earlier,” he concluded.

On late Thursday, Babar tweeted a photo with Kohli and extended his support to the former Indian skipper. “This too shall pass. Stay strong,” Babar had written for Kohli who last made his international century in 2019. 

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