ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s One-Day International (ODI) captain Azhar Ali told that his side will look to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 after putting a strong performance in the ICC Champions Trophy.
“The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is a crucial event for us and as a team our main goal will be to win as many matches as possible so that we can improve our team ranking and qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019,” he said in a statement after the ICC announced the Champions Trophy scheduled in London on Wednesday.
The fixtures were announced exactly an year before the first ball of the tournament will be bowled. The 18-day long tournament will see 15 matches be played at three venues.
“A lot of ODI cricket is scheduled in the lead up to the ICC Champions Trophy and it will be our best chance to learn, improve and win as many matches as possible so that we arrive in England and Wales next year fully prepared and ready for the challenge,” the Pakistan captain said.
“The ICC Champions Trophy is one trophy which is missing from our cabinet. It has earned the status as one of the most demanding, challenging and intense competitions. So, it will be nice if we can get our hands on this piece of silverware next year.
“In the face of competition from some outstanding teams and players, it will not be easy, but success at any global event comes only after persistent preparations and efforts, which have to be backed up by consistent performances. I am hoping that over the next 12 months, we will be able to build on our strengths and achieve our objectives,” he added.