Captains of all the 16 teams participating in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup met in Melbourne on the eve of the commencement of the marquee event.
The Plaza Ballroom in Melbourne was the location for the media opportunity and all the pre-event shenanigans between all the captains.
We bring to you some of the best moments as well as key quotes from the captains at the event hosted by the ICC.
The occasion became even more momentous with the birthday celebration of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who turned 28.
The captains’ tussleArch-rivals on the field but all smiles off itThe Ashes rivalry in T20I coloursMohammad Nabi and Kane Williamson going ‘head to head’When the Eagles met the LionsCraig Ervine and Nicholas Pooran will be seeing each other again in four days when West Indies and Zimbabwe clashEyes locked between Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan and South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma!All smiles between Netherlands captain Scott Edwards and UAE skipper CP RizwanThe neighbours are ready to rumble!
What they said: Team news and more
Rohit Sharma (India captain): “We spoke to a lot of the specialists about his (Jasprit Bumrah) injuries, but we did not get a decent response. This World Cup is important, but his career is more important. He is only 27-28, there is a lot of cricket in front of him.
“So, we can’t take such a risk. All the specialists we spoke to were of the same opinion. There is a lot of cricket ahead of him, he will play a lot more and help India win matches. There is no doubt that he will be missed.”
Babar Azam (Pakistan captain): “Shaheen and Fakhar (Zaman) have come back. We have six days for the first match, so we will utilise these warm-up matches. Shaheen is fully fit and dedicated to give his 100 percent. So, we are looking forward to seeing him play.”
Aaron Finch (Australia captain): “In terms of the overall picture, you need a bit of luck in a T20 World Cup as well – the format lends itself to one individual performance knocking teams out or changing the course of a tournament. So you have to accept that and you hope that you’re on the right side of it.
“I feel we’ve got enough match-winners to our side that we can put enough pressure on the opposition.”
Jos Buttler (England captain): “Many of us have travelled and played in Australia and know the conditions, but of course, no-one is going to know the conditions or be as accustomed to them as the Australian team. They are also reigning champions, so you have to pick them out probably as favourites for the tournaments.”
Kane Williamson (New Zealand captain): “Everybody has different tags and rankings that go up and down throughout the year, and I suppose they end up with different names. But you come here in tournament sport on any day, anything can happen, especially looking across all these teams with match winners throughout.”
Temba Bavuma (South Africa captain): “To be honest, I think the guys are in good spirits. We’ve obviously just come from India where we didn’t have the best of series, but I think there’s still a lot of confidence that we can take throughout our season and the performances that we’ve put together as a team.”
Dasun Shanaka (Sri Lanka captain): “After a very good Asia Cup, we are very confident. The environment is really good. We are well-focused on our batting. As it is the early summer, the conditions will be somewhat different, so we are really focusing on that.”
Gerhard Erasmus (Namibia captain): “Our preparations have been really nice getting to Wangaratta in the countryside of Australia quite early and getting accustomed to things around here. So I guess we’ll try and stall the underdog tag for a little bit longer, but yeah, when the real stuff starts, you need to bring the high-level skill that the guys play at the World Cup if we can do that.”
CP Rizwan (UAE captain): “It’s always an honour to lead your country and it’s even more special to lead in a World Cup. I have always dreamt of playing in a World Cup, so getting an opportunity to do that representing your country is special.”