Sarfraz Ahmed India Pakistan Asia Cup Imran Khan
Sarfraz Ahmed © Getty Images (file photo)

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed acknowledged the greater experience of the Indian side compared to their Pakistani counterparts. In an interview with Daily Times (Pakistan), Sarfraz admitted, while sounding upbeat about the upcoming Asia Cup match: “[Virat] Kohli-led unit are more experienced than the Men in Green … I am hopeful that it will be a good match because this is the first time both sides are facing each other after the Champions Trophy Final.”

When asked about the rescheduling of the Asia Cup, Sarfraz acknowledged his ignorance on India’s role: “I’m not aware about India’s protest on Asia Cup scheduling. We will have a psychological edge over India because UAE is our home ground and we are in a better position to gauge the conditions and utilise it to our advantage.

Sarfraz also spoke on Pakistan’s recent emphasis on fitness training: “We have been a plan to work on our fitness which is why are focusing closely on improving in that area. After Asia Cup we have important series against Australia and New Zealand which is why we are looking to stretch our good run of form in all formats.”

Sarfraz also mentioned he would request Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan ensure departmental cricket is continued in Pakistan: “I would like to request Imran Khan not to end departmental cricket as these departments have played an important role in the development of Pakistan Cricket. I have also come from departmental cricket, first I played for region and then department and it does improve cricket. Once Imran Khan comes in the cricket will gradually improve but I can only request him not to end departmental cricket.”

Unlike other contemporary Test-playing nations, departmental (corporate) cricket has always played a crucial role in Pakistan First-Class cricket.