In a press conference ahead of Pakistan's departure for the ODI World Cup 2023, pacer Haris Rauf found himself addressing questions about the team's perceived lack of aggression during matches against India.
Rauf's response to a journalist's query on the subject was unapologetic and straightforward.
“Why should I go and fight with Indians? It is cricket and not war,” Rauf firmly asserted, emphasizing that the focus should be on the game itself rather than unnecessary confrontations.
The statement came as the Pakistani team prepares for one of the most anticipated cricket tournaments.
Rauf had been sidelined due to a shoulder injury during Pakistan's final Super 4 game in the Asia Cup 2023. However, he made it clear that he was in prime physical condition and eager to contribute to Pakistan's campaign in the World Cup.
Haris Rauf optimistic about his fitness ahead of ODI World Cup 2023
“Playing in any tournament for your country is a big deal. My fitness is better than before. We have confidence in ourselves as a team. The team management will decide whether to give me the new ball or the old ball,” Rauf expressed with optimism regarding his fitness.
When asked about personal goals for the World Cup, Rauf underscored the importance of team performance over individual achievements, emphasizing the collective effort required to succeed in such a prestigious event.
In the lead-up to the World Cup, Pakistan faced a significant setback with the injury-related withdrawal of Naseem Shah. This has put added pressure on the team's batting unit, which faced challenges during the Asia Cup 2023 and had a challenging encounter against India in the Super 4 stage.
As Pakistan gears up for the ODI World Cup 2023, expectations are high, and the team is looking to make its mark on the global stage. The squad, led by captain Babar Azam, includes talented players like Shadab Khan, Muhammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, among others. The focus remains on delivering strong team performances and competing at the highest level of international cricket.
Pakistan Squad for World Cup:
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Muhammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Wasim Junior, Agha Salman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir.