UAE not to give us any advantage; India game like any other: Pakistan's Md Rizwan

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Dubai, Oct 10 (IANS) Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan believes his side is unlikely to enjoy “any special advantage in the UAE” in the ICC T20 World Cup, given that they have played several series in the Emirates following cricket-playing nations shunning the country in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009.

For nearly a decade following the terror attack, the UAE — especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi — became the ‘host’ venue for Pakistan against touring sides.

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“I have never been a believer in the fact that any one side, including Pakistan, has any special advantage in (the) UAE or anywhere else. All we can say is that the tournament is being held in Asia as I consider UAE to be in Asia,” said Rizwan during a virtual media interaction on Saturday.

“Yes, we have been playing there for a while and we used to say that UAE is our home ground but I never accepted that because the pitches there, from what I understood, were made with soil from Australia or from other parts of the world. So, even if UAE was called our home ground, that was not the case.”

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Rizwan also said that the hype generated around the India-Pakistan clash on October 24 was more of a social media thing, adding that Pakistan will consider the game “the same as one against any other side”.

India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series since 2012/13 due to the deteriorating relations between the two countries and have only faced each other in ICC tournaments.

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“This India-Pakistan match, we will consider it like any other game. The hype is being created by the social media and fans which is fine but in our hearts and minds, we will consider this game the same as one against any other side. Because, if we as players take on the additional pressure of this game, then that won’t be good as it has happened before,” said Rizwan.

India enjoy a 12-0 record against Pakistan in World Cup games. India lead Pakistan 7-0 in ODI World Cups, while they have a 5-0 record in T20 World Cups. India had beaten Pakistan in the final of the 2007 T20 World Cup to win the inaugural edition.

–IANS

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