LAHORE               -           Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said he is looking forward to win three-match T20  International series against Bangladesh to retain his side’s status of world champions.

Addressing the press conference here at Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday, Babar said: “It is a very important series for us and definitely, we will be going all-out to produce desired results at home ground to retain number one status as the world T20 champions.”

Babar said it would be for the first time that he would be captaining the team in Pakistan and he looks forward to the series with optimism and a professional approach to beat the touring side. He rejected a questioner that the home side will be under pressure after suffering a 3-0 drubbing against young Sri Lankan team few months ago. “It is the saga of past now and we will be taking a fresh start,” he added.

The skipper said:  “Bangladesh team is a blend of senior and juniors and it has the ability to beat any opposing team and if you look at the composition of our team, it has young blood in the ranks with Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi adding fire in our pace attack.”

Babar said Pakistan team is well prepared for the series and all the players are in good physical trim and right frame of mind to showcase their talent. To a query, he said he anticipates that wicket will be slow and the ball will also be coming slow and the final combination of the team will be announced keeping in view the playing conditions and the nature of the wicket.

Regarding the recall of veterans’ duo of Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Hafeez, he said he put up his suggestion before the team management to consider both of the players and he was thankful that the suggestion was duly considered. “Malik and Hafeez are very talented players and their presence will infuse confidence in the team besides it will be a big way of learning for me as a captain,” he said.

Babar said he has come long way to lead the side after starting as a ball picker at the same arena about 13 years ago and it is a memorable moment in his career and life to captain the side at Gaddafi Stadium.

Bangladesh captain Muhammadullah Riyad said his team will be putting up good performance to beat the world’s top notch T20 team, Pakistan, and his team looks forward to play exciting cricket in the series. He did not agree to a questioner that security will be their main concern in the tour. “The moment we boarded the plane, we set-a-side this factor (security) and our full concentration is to play quality cricket to achieve good results,” he said.

“Pakistan team is the world champions and it played good cricket in its T20 matches in the past but at the same time our performance in our two previous T20 series is quite good and we look forward to repeat similar show against Pakistan in their own backyard,” he said.

To another query, he said his team is a blend of experience and youth and team’s main strength will be good performance on part of all the players though a lot of hopes have been pinned with the young players in the side. “I think everybody will be aiming to play his best cricket and such a positive thought can be key to success.

“If I get a chance to bat in the top order, I will be happy but at the same time, it is important to contribute for the team and I think that every team member has the similar mind set,” he asserted.

He said the atmosphere is good for cricket in Pakistan and now the stage has come to perform well. “It is good to be back in Pakistan, I have been here before and I will enjoy playing cricket to inspire his team to success,” he said.  To another query regarding reception given to them by the hosts, he said they were not expecting such a rousing reception upon thier arrival and they did not experience it before and he is loving it at the moment. “As far as security is concerned, I think Pakistan has provided us the best security and I am really delighted with such arrangements.” He said the tour of Pakistan is a part of our preparations for the World Cup and a chance to win in Pakistan and we are look forward to it.