ICC World Cup 2023 : In a captivating exhibition of cricketing prowess, Pakistani cricketers left an indelible mark during a warm-up encounter against New Zealand in Hyderabad, India. Among the standout performers was Saud Shakeel, the stylish left-handed middle-order batsman.
Taking the crease at number five, the 27-year-old cricketer showcased a masterclass in strokeplay, effortlessly finding boundaries all around the ground. Saud Shakeel compiled an impressive 75 runs from a mere 53 deliveries, featuring nine beautifully executed boundaries, at an outstanding strike rate of 141.51.
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However, amidst the admiration for Saud’s splendid innings, observant fans couldn’t help but notice an unusual aspect – Saud Shakeel’s bat bore no sponsor logo.
Saud Shakeel, who recently etched his name in cricketing history with a maiden double Test hundred against Sri Lanka, has emerged as one of Pakistan’s finest and most dependable middle-order batsmen. Nevertheless, witnessing him wield a bat devoid of sponsorship left fans intrigued.
It’s noteworthy that Pakistan posted a formidable total of 345 runs on the scoreboard while batting first, courtesy of a splendid century by Mohammad Rizwan and a well-crafted 80 by Babar Azam from 84 balls.
As of the time of reporting, the New Zealand team was batting at 183-2 in 23.1 overs.
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It’s vital to emphasize that the warm-up matches are being played with a 50-over format per side. However, these encounters do not hold official ODI status, affording teams the flexibility to include all 15 members of their squad in the playing XI.
Furthermore, this particular match is being conducted behind closed doors, a decision made in compliance with recommendations from local security authorities in Hyderabad. This decision coincided with ongoing festivals in the area, ensuring a safe and secure environment for the players.
Looking ahead, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is set to take place in India, featuring ten teams vying for the coveted title across ten venues from October 5 to November 19. The tournament will commence with a match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and culminate with the final at the same venue.