Babar Azam has said he will leave the decision of remaining as Pakistan captain to the PCB following their disappointing T20 World Cup campaign. 

The Shaheens concluded their run in the competition with a three-wicket triumph over Ireland in Florida on Sunday, but failed to progress to the Super 8 stage at the expense of the United States. 

Shaheen Afridi starred for Pakistan by taking three wickets, with Azam leading from the front with the bat as he hit an unbeaten 32 to help secure the victory. 

"Yes we finished well, we took early wickets with the ball," Azam said after the game. "With the bat we didn't finish well. Lost back to back wickets, got over the line in the end.

"I think with the bowling, conditions suit our bowlers, in batting few mistakes in USA, India matches, when you lose wickets pressure is on you.

"Let's see, what team needs, I'll be okay with it. Have a good bunch of players, we've to go home, chat and see where we lacked, and then come back. Couldn't finish off close games, as a team we weren't good as a team."

Pakistan's exit from the World Cup was the earliest they had been knocked out of the competition, having lost their opening two games to the USA and India. 

Azam's future as the captain has been called into question, and could hand the armband over to Afridi, who was named as the new captain following Pakistan's league stage exit of the ODI World Cup in India last year.

The 29-year-old explained that conversations will be had to discuss his future as Pakistan captain, but admitted the decision is down to the PCB. 

"When I left captaincy (previously), I felt that I shouldn't be captain any more and announced it myself. When PCB gave it back, that was their decision," Azam said. 

"Now we'll go back and have a discussion about what all has happened here. If I leave captaincy again then I will inform everyone.

"For now, I haven't thought about it and the decision is up to PCB."

Pakistan salvage some pride in their final T20 World Cup match by holding on to earn a three-wicket victory over Ireland in Lauderhill on Sunday.

Both sides were already out of the competition before the match, but Pakistan clearly wanted to go out on a high as they came out of the blocks quickly.

Ireland got off to a nightmare start, slumping to 4-3 in just the second over. Shaheen Afridi (3-22) and Imad Wasim (3-8) impressed as Pakistan smothered their opponents, though Gareth Delany managed to gain some momentum with 31 off 19 balls.

Ireland eventually stumbled to 106-9 and looked out of sorts while bowling as well as Pakistan raced to 52-2 by the end of the eighth over.

Barry McCarthy (3-15) set up a nervy finish though as his intervention saw Pakistan lose four wickets during the next three overs.

Ireland could not hold onto their dominance though as Afridi scored two sixes in the 19th over to reach 111-7 and ensure a Pakistan win with seven balls remaining.

Pakistan are left to rue their slow start to the tournament, while Ireland finish their T20 World Cup campaign without registering a single win, with both sides now heading home.

Data Debrief: Too little, too late?

It is the second time in the tournament that Pakistan have had two bowlers take three wickets each after Naseem Shah (3-21) and Haris Rauf (3-21) in their defeat to India.

Overall, this is the lowest match aggregate (217) involving Pakistan and Ireland in T20Is.

The United States have qualified for the Super 8s after their T20 World Cup match with Ireland in Florida was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Only an Ireland victory over tournament co-hosts USA could have prevented the Americans' progress to the next round, but no play was possible on Friday amid a flash-flood emergency in the region.

There were multiple pitch inspections, but the umpires ultimately concluded no play was possible due to the wet outfield.

USA secured a win over Canada in the opening match of the tournament before pulling off an almighty upset to beat Pakistan, who are now eliminated because of the washout, as are Canada.

The outcome also means Ireland are out, although their hopes had already looked slim after losses to India and Canada.

India are expected to finish top of Group A, having beaten USA in their last match to secure a third successive victory. 

Rohit Sharma's side will do battle with Australia, Afghanistan and a team from Group D – most likely to be Bangladesh – in the next round, though they still have one more pool match to play against Canada on Saturday.

USA are poised to enter Group 2 of the Super 8s along with fellow hosts West Indies and South Africa. The final spot in that section will be filled by either England or Scotland, depending on who progresses from Group B.

As a result of reaching the Super 8s in this competition, Monank Patel's USA team are also now guaranteed qualification to the 2026 T20 World Cup, which will be held in India and Sri Lanka.

Babar Azam lauded a much-needed T20 World Cup victory for Pakistan against Canada on Tuesday, though still regretted his side not wrapping up the win sooner.

Pakistan made light work of their 107-run target in New York, easing to their first win at this year's competition with 15 balls to spare and still boasting seven wickets in hand.

Mohammad Rizwan made a run-a-ball 53 in the chase, while captain Babar added 33 in what proved to be a routine victory.

Yet having already suffered a shock opening defeat to the United States and a low-scoring loss to rivals India, Babar was frustrated Pakistan could not finish the task sooner against Canada.

"Good for us, we need this win," Babar said during his post-match interview. "We started well with the bowling, in the first six overs we knew we had to be up to the mark.

"[Net run-rate] was in our mind, to win before 14 overs but the pitch made it difficult."

Mohammad Amir managed an economical 2-13 from his four-over spell as Canada's batters failed to get going against Pakistan.

The Pakistan bowler was named Player of the Match for his efforts, referencing a need for adaptability in the USA and West Indies.

"As a bowler you have to adopt the conditions, what the conditions are demanding," Amir said. "My role is very clear, what I'm going to do with the new ball and at the death.

"That's why I'm getting that success. That was a very important win. One more, who knows..."

Canada captain Saad Bin Zafar, meanwhile, was left frustrated.

"Definitely, it was a bit disappointing," he said. "We wanted to play a positive brand of cricket and I think the wicket was not very helpful.

"It was difficult to bat early on; not a good toss to lose. We were about 25 to 30 runs short."

Pakistan boosted their slim hopes of qualifying for the T20 World Cup Super 8s with a seven-wicket victory over Canada.

Muhammad Rizwan made an unbeaten half-century to give the Green Shirts a much-needed win in New York, having started their campaign with back-to-back defeats against the United States and India.

Aaron Johnson top-scored for Canada with an impressive 52 off 44 balls - including four sixes - as the Maple Leafers finished at 106-7.

Rizwan and Babar Azam led Pakistan's charge with a stand of 63.

Azam fell on 33 as he was caught off Dilon Heyliger, but Rizwan kept things ticking over before Usman Khan wrapped up the victory with 15 balls to spare.

Data Debrief: Ton up for Rauf

Pakistan are still in the hunt for a Super 8s spot, though they must comfortably beat Ireland in the final Group A game and hope for favourable results from elsewhere to secure a top-two finish.

On a brighter note, Haris Rauf's figure of 2-26 saw him notch up his 100th wicket in T20Is, becoming only the second player from his nation to hit triple figures after Shadab Khan.

Gary Kirsten says Pakistan's poor decision-making was the deciding factor in their six-run defeat to India at the T20 World Cup on Sunday. 

The result leaves Pakistan bottom of Group A following their shock loss to the United States in their opening game of the tournament.

Having won the toss and elected to bowl first, Pakistan were aided by rain interruptions and dismissed their opponents for 119.

They also made a good start with the bat as Mohammad Rizwan laid the platform for the chase after scoring 31 from 44 balls. 

However, their middle-order batters failed to step up as Jasprit Bumrah (3-14) made crucial breakthroughs and bowled 15 dot balls to maintain India's unbeaten start to their campaign. 

"Disappointing loss, that's for sure," Kirsten said shortly after the defeat. 

"I knew 120 was not going to be an easy target. If India got only 120, it was always going to be not the easiest. But I think we had the game at 72 for 2 with six or seven overs left. Disappointing not to get across the line from the position we got ourselves into."

Kirsten was asked where the game slipped from their hands. "Decision-making," he said. 

"You have got the game on, run a ball, eight wickets in hand, decision-making at that point. That's the game. That's international cricket for you.

"You make mistakes like that, you are going to pay. I thought we made some poor decisions at important phases of the game. I thought Rizwan played well for us. We knew it was going to be a tough wicket to bat on. We managed the chase very well but then just let it slip in the end."

Pakistan travel to New York to face Canada on Tuesday with India squaring off against the hosts at the same venue a day later.

India captain Rohit Sharma described Jasprit Bumrah as a "genius" after he pushed Pakistan closer to an early T20 World Cup elimination on Sunday.

Looking to bounce back from their stunning defeat to the United States, Pakistan appeared to be in the ascendency when they skittled India for 119 before reaching 73-2 in their chase.

However, they slipped to 88-5 as Bumrah dismissed Babar Azam, Mohammed Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed, bowling 15 dot balls and only giving up 14 runs in four overs.

Requiring 16 off the final three balls, Pakistan saw Naseem Shah hit a couple of fours when a maximum was required as India held on. 

After falling short with the bat, Rohit knew India would have to rely on their bowlers to make it two wins from two Group A matches.

"We didn't bat well enough," Rohit said. "Halfway through, we were in a good position, 81 for 3.

"You expect guys to stitch partnerships, but we didn't put enough partnerships there. I thought we fell 15 to 20 short.

"We spoke about how every run matters on a pitch like that. We were looking at 140, but I thought the bowlers could do the job for us and they did.

"That's what's required in a tournament like this. We need everyone to show up. Those little contributions make a huge difference.

"Whoever had the ball in hand wanted to make a contribution for the team."

Asked about Bumrah's efficient performance, Rohit added: "He is going from strength to strength. We've seen over the years what he can do, I'm not going to talk too much about him. 

"We want him to be in that kind of mindset until the end of the World Cup. He's a genius with the ball, we know that, but hats off to the other guys as well."

Bumrah himself said: "We felt we were a little under-par. When the sun came out, the wicket got a bit better. 

"We had to be disciplined with what we were trying to do. I tried to keep it simple, the wicket got better, and the swing was less. I just tried to be clear with my plan and focused on my execution."

India take on the USA next time out on Wednesday, having moved above the co-hosts to go top of the pool due to their superior run rate through their first two contests.

Pakistan are on the brink of a humiliating early exit from the T20 World Cup, having followed up their shock defeat to the United States with a six-run loss to India.

Pakistan were on the wrong end of an all-time World Cup upset against the co-hosts on Thursday, and they fell short in their chase of 120 against their great rivals at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Rain at Long Island caused a lengthy delay to the start of proceedings and the covers were back on after just one over, but the weather quickly cleared up and that was the only interruption.

India were caught cold after the pause, with Virat Kohli (4) toe-ending Naseem Shah's delivery straight to Usman Khan at cover point before Rohit Sharma (13) picked out Haris Rauf in the deep before the end of the third over. 

Rishabh Pant steadied the ship somewhat with his knock of 42 off 31 balls including six fours, but Pakistan had his crucial wicket in the 15th over as he hoisted Mohammad Amir's ball up into the air and into the waiting palms of Babar Azam.

India's middle order was unable to respond as both Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah were dismissed for golden ducks, Shah and Rauf both finishing 3-21.

Needing a run-a-ball 120 for victory, Pakistan had an early reprieve as Mohammad Rizwan was dropped on seven by Shivam Dube, but he made slow progress with 31 off 44 deliveries.

Nevertheless, Pakistan were looking good at 73-2 only to slip to 88-5, Rizwan being bowled by Bumrah for the second of his three wickets between Fakhar Zaman (13) and Shadab Khan (4) going for low scores.

After Rizwan's departure, no other Pakistan player managed more than 15, Bumrah's full-toss dismissal of Iftikhar Ahmed (5) leaving them requiring 18 off the final over.

Arshdeep Singh then took up the ball, Imad Wasim (15) glancing his delivery into the palms of Pant before Shah could only manage a couple of fours when he required maximums, one mammoth strike having Kohli worried in the deep but bouncing just before the boundary. 

Data Debrief: Bumrah pushes Pakistan to the brink

A full-on delivery to send stumps flying and remove steady-hitting Rizwan was the highlight of Bumrah's outing, but equally as important was the way he gave Pakistan no gifts. 

He finished with figures of 3-14 as Pakistan simply failed to maintain their momentum after a decent start to their chase, bowling 15 dot balls through his full four overs.

Pakistan now need a minor miracle to make the Super-8 stage, while India's superior run rate puts them ahead of the USA at the top of Group A.

Like the rest of the cricketing world, I was gripped by USA’s victory over Pakistan. It is a huge result which is not only incredible for them but massive for cricket as a whole.

You always expect a few upsets at World Cups and having started well by beating Canada, USA put Pakistan under the pump for pretty much the whole game. The atmosphere in Texas looked great and I think it marks the day the World Cup really started.

USA look very well organised and the way they stood up to that Pakistan attack, one of the best bowling units at the World Cup, you have to give huge kudos to them.

They will now look to cash in on this result and they can absolutely reach the Super 8s – what a story that would be.

They have such talent in the team. Aaron Jones looks right at home on the big stage. For cricket to grow in any country, you need a hero and he is the USA hero. He scored 90-odd against Canada to see them home and now this in the Super Over – what an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup he has had already.

Andries Gous is also a very, very good player, I've watched him in a few tournaments in the US. He's a very good striker of the cricket ball and is very good against spin. Steven Taylor is a quality player, Nitish Kumar can bat as well and Corey Anderson brings the experience.

They know the conditions very well and these grounds do not have big boundaries, so if they get going, they can hurt you.

As for Pakistan, they have no time to waste. They have to re-group for the biggest game of the tournament against India in New York City – that’s just got even bigger.

Their backs are up against the wall and coming off a loss like that straight into playing a team like India, who traditionally have the upper hand in these games, is a huge challenge. India are in the driver's seat, definitely a more relaxed seat, but this is India versus Pakistan at a World Cup, so you can take nothing for granted.

Windies should also capitalize on home advantage

USA are making the most of home advantage so far and my hope is that the West Indies can do the same.

It's never easy playing home, especially in a big occasion like a World Cup, because the expectation is so high.

We know the conditions very well, so outsiders might think we should actually go all the way and win the tournament, but it’s never quite as simple as that.

It is actually quite rare for a home team to win a T20 World Cup but hopefully this year will be a change of fortune. We can lift the trophy on June 29 in Barbados, for sure.

Having not qualified for the last ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, this tournament is so important for cricket in the Caribbean. This is a huge thing for the players to step up and be counted.

We started with an edgy win over Papua New Guinea but sometimes an edgy win is a good win. It was important to start on a winning note and now they just need to kick on, make sure they get to the Super 8s and then look to take it further.

It’s up to the players now to entertain the fans and make sure we get some quality support in the stands, and fill it up.

Nicholas Pooran is going to be key in that respect and Brandon King has been batting superbly as well. I think we have a well balanced all-round team. Romario Shepherd and Andre Russell will have a big part to play at the back end, we have two quality spinners in Gudakesh Motie and Akeal Hosein, and Alzarri Joseph is rapid and very steady.

Anything can happen in that first game, no matter who you are playing – just ask Pakistan – so the win was the most important thing. But if I was in that dressing room, I would be asking for more. I would be saying ‘look, that was our bad game but we still got a win. Now we must push on from here’.

Everyone should be hungrier to go out and deliver more with the bat and with the ball, and step up another level. We certainly have the players capable of doing that.

he International Cricket Council (ICC) has promised ground staff will try to “remedy” ongoing problems with the drop-in pitches at its showcase ground in New York.

Cricket’s world governing body publicly acknowledged for the first time since the T20 World Cup began that there have been teething issues with the surfaces.

While players and coaches have so far refused to criticise the pitches at the venue, BBC Sport understands India has privately voiced their unhappiness with the unpredictable bounce and two-paced nature of the strips in Eisenhower Park amid worries over the safety of their batters.

“The ICC recognise that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted,” the ICC said in a statement.

“The world-class grounds team have been working hard since the conclusion of yesterday’s game to remedy the situation and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches.”

Concerns have grown over the unpredictable nature of surfaces after the first two fixtures played at the venue.

 

On Monday, Sri Lanka were bowled out by South Africa for 77 – their lowest score in T20s – while India dismissed Ireland for 96 on Wednesday.

India play Pakistan on Sunday at the venue in Eisenhower Park in one of the most eagerly-anticipated fixtures of the tournament with a capacity crowd of 32,000 expected.

ICC officials have maintained there are no contingency plans in place to switch any of the New York games to venues in Florida or Texas, both of which have natural turf strips.

The US is staging 16 of the 55 matches at the T20 World Cup, which it is co-hosting with the West Indies.

The pop-up stadium in New York cost $32 million to construct and was built inside eight months to much fanfare from the tournament organisers.

Six of the trays which transported the soil for the 10 Tahoma grass surfaces came from Australia before being shipped to Florida where the pitches were cultivated.

The soil variety has a high clay content, similar to the pitches in Adelaide.

They were then transported to New York by road and installed a few weeks before the tournament began.

The outfield is made up of Kentucky bluegrass, grown at a farm in New Jersey, on top of sand.

There was discontent with the pitch after Monday’s opening match in which South Africa were able to stroll to their victory target against Sri Lanka with 22 deliveries remaining, while India had 46 balls left when they hit the winning runs in another low-scoring match against Ireland.

It has meant the toss in New York has become pivotal in determining the outcome of the match, with the team bowling first at an advantage.

Batters have had to fend off short-pitched bowling, with balls climbing off a length while others skid along at ankle height through to the wicketkeeper.

A clear diagnosis for the problems has not yet been identified.

Similarly, the sizes of the boundaries – 75m and 65m on each side, and 71m straight – and slow outfield have inhibited run scoring with the boundary ropes unable to be pulled in because of ICC tournament guidelines.

As a result, the cricket spectacle delivered by both games so far has been largely underwhelming.

India fans were even cheering for Ireland at one point during their eight-wicket win, hoping the length of the game would be extended so they could see more of their team batting in the second innings.

Concerns have also been raised about the six pitches laid at the net training facility in nearby Cantiague Park.

Earlier this week, South Africa’s batters opted for throw downs as opposed to facing their own bowlers, and local net bowlers, because of injury worries.

West Indies slow left-arm orthodox bowler Gudakesh Motie is reaping the benefits of his consistent performances in recent times, as he has been shortlisted for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Player of the Month awards, which celebrates the outstanding performers from international competition in May.

The Guyanese, who is currently on duty with the West Indies at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, is joined by Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Ireland's Lorcan Tucker on the men's list released by ICC on Friday. The women's list is headlined by Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu, with England's Sophie Ecclestone and Scotland's captain Kathryn Bryce, the other nominees.

Motie, 29, earned a nomination after his Player of the Series exploits in West Indies whitewash series triumph over South Africa. Similarly, Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi enjoyed a prolific wicket-taking month in his side’s T20I tours of Ireland and England last month, while Ireland's wicketkeeper/batsman Tucker recorded consistent scores against Pakistan, Netherlands and Scotland in his side’s preparations for the T20 World Cup.

Like Motie, Afridi and Tucker are both on duty at the T20 World Cup being hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

Meanwhile, two stars from the recently concluded ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE are nominated in the Women’s Player of the Month category, alongside an England spin sensation.

Sri Lankan skipper Athapaththu is nominated for the second month in a row after topping the run-scoring charts in Abu Dhabi and hitting a sparkling century in the final match. She is joined by Scotland skipper Bryce, who led her side to an historic first qualification for a women’s World Cup event thanks to memorable individual contributions. England’s Ecclestone is the third name in contention, nominated for more wicket-taking feats as her side overcame Pakistan in both shorter formats last month.

An independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world will now be invited to cast their votes to decide the winners, which will be announced next week. Fans are now able to vote for their favourite performers at icc-cricket.com/awards.

Shaheen Shah Afridi

ICC Men’s Player of the Month Nominees for May:

Gudakesh Motie (WI)

The West Indies’ left-arm spinner enjoyed plenty of success in the home series against South Africa in May, taking eight wickets across three matches at an average of 8.50, as the hosts sealed a statement 3-0 victory in Jamaica. Motie took three for 25 in the opening contest to restrict the tourists’ chase and he backed that performance up with another impressive spell of three for 22 to stifle the middle order in the second fixture. Another two wickets in the final match turned the tide in favour of the hosts once more and allowed the 29-year-old to claim the Player of the Series accolade.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (PAK)

Pakistan’s frontline pacer is nominated for the second successive month after another blistering spell of fast bowling in May. Afridi took ten wickets in his five T20I contests during the month, which included three consecutive three-wicket hauls. Spells of three for 49 and three for 14 against Ireland helped Pakistan overturn a series deficit to win in Dublin, before the 24-year-old followed up with three for 36 against England in Birmingham. The three-time nominee has never won a Men’s Player of the Month award but has a strong case to claim his maiden prize.

 

Lorcan Tucker (IRE)

The wicketkeeper-batter aims to become the first Irish winner of the Men’s Player of the Month award since Harry Tector in May 2023, and is nominated thanks to explosive run-scoring feats during a busy month of international competition. Tucker top-scored for Ireland in the second and third matches against Pakistan with successive quickfire scores of 51 and 73, and carried that momentum into the tri-series against Scotland and Netherlands, hitting 40 and 55 as Ireland sealed confidence boosting wins ahead of their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign.