Babar Azam
Babar Azam Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Pakistan cricketers have urged the local fans to turn up in big numbers for the upcoming ODIs against Sri Lanka to support the sides and celebrate the resumption of bilateral 50-over cricket in Karachi.

“Leading the Pakistan cricket team in a bilateral ODI series in front of my home crowd will be one of the highlights of my career. I can’t wait for Friday, which will mark the memorable occasion, and I hope when I walk out, I have a full-house behind me, not only cheering me but both the sides,” Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said. “Fans are the lifeline for any sport as they are the driving force for any team or player. They give extra energy to the teams and help them produce their very best.

“History will be made on Friday when Karachi will host the first bilateral ODI series since January 2009. I request all local cricket fans to be part of history so that they can tell the next generation that they were at the National Stadium when an international series was played.”

Star batsman Babar Azam added: “Friday will be one of my biggest days when I will take the field as Pakistan vice-captain. I will want the entire country as well as the National Stadium crowd to make this a day to remember for me

“As a youngster, I have seen on television packed-to-capacity National Stadium for ODIs and the two matches that immediately come to my mind are the 2004 and 2008 ODIs against India. In 2004,

“As a middle-order batsman, I am hoping there will be a similar crowd number when we will play Sri Lanka. The game is all about the fans and they need to come out to support cricket and the teams.”