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Can out-of-form Pakistan find a way to win the T20 World Cup?

The 2009 champions must overlook their chaotic lead-up to the World Cup and find form to have a shot at the semifinals.

Captain: Babar Azam
Fixtures: USA (June 6), India (June 9), Canada (June 11), Ireland (June 16)
Best finish at T20 World Cup: Champions (2009)

Pakistan enter the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 on the back of a tumultuous period on and off the field, and their former leading pace bowler Umar Gul believes the chaotic preparations will hamper the team’s performance at the tournament.

Pakistan, the losing finalists of the T20 World Cup in 2022 had a dismal run at the 50-over World Cup in India in November as they failed to qualify for the semifinals and their captain Babar Azam stepped down from his role.

Off the field, the country’s cricket board has been run by four different chairpersons in the same period, the coaching staff has undergone several changes and the current chairperson has handed the captaincy back to Babar.

To make matters worse, in the 18-month period between the two T20 World Cups, Pakistan have won only nine of their 25 T20 international matches. Their only T20 series win came against Ireland, who are ranked five places below them on the ICC T20 team rankings.

All of these issues have compounded to give Pakistan far-from-ideal preparation for the biggest T20 World Cup yet.

“You cannot prepare long-term plans when there are so many changes,” Umar Gul told Al Jazeera.

The former fast bowler who was the leading wicket-taker when Pakistan won their only T20 World Cup in 2009.

“Continuity at all levels, including the captaincy, is important as [frequent] changes disrupt the team’s unity and players’ confidence,” Gul said.

Pakistan have played plenty of T20 cricket, including their home T20 franchise