England’s Jos Buttler would be a proud skipper if his men can win the T20 World Cup final against Pakistan on Sunday and inspire their footballing counterparts to pull off an encore in Doha next month.
Buttler, a champion batter, has lead his team to the summit clash in his maiden global meet as England skipper.
Asked if the football team can take a leaf out of the cricket team, the soft spoken skipper said: “Yeah, I certainly hope so.”
“Sport is such a huge part of English culture, and getting behind teams in World Cups is certainly something I know happens a lot in England.
“Even though we’re on the other side of the world, you can certainly feel that support,” Buttler said on eve of the final against Pakistan.
England are clubbed with Iran, Wales and USA in group B of the FIFA World Cup.
“The images you see of the Euros, obviously, nothing will compete with football in our country. Of course the game is going to be on free-to-air television, which is fantastic, will bring new eyes to the game,” said the skipper-keeper.
Buttler doesn’t feel people will be watching on the big screen at Trafalgar Square at 8 am British Standard Time but the TV sets will be switched on as there is a renewed interest in cricket after their 2019 World Cup win.
“We saw the benefit of that in 2019 with some of the images of people watching that game and Trafalgar Square being packed out and stuff.
“I am not sure they’ll be getting up at 8:00 in the morning to get to Trafalgar Square, but I am sure there will be plenty back home wishing us well, as we do to the other teams that you mentioned who have got some big games ahead of themselves, as well.”
Some Pakistani pacers will be future greats
Just like a shrewd captain, Buttler was effusive in his praise for Pakistani pacers, calling them potential future greats.
“Obviously, Pakistan is a fantastic team. I think they have a very long history of producing excellent fast bowlers.
“I’m sure by the end of their careers, some of the guys who we’ll play against will go down as some of the best bowlers Pakistan have produced. That’s a huge part of why they get to a World Cup final.”
Having played Pakistan in a seven match away series, Buttler is aware about the challenges.
“We expect a really tough challenge, as mentioned before. They’re a team we’ve seen lots of in the recent past, and we’ve had some brilliant matches against them, played in a fantastic spirit, and I’m sure tomorrow will be no different,” he said.
Buttler is big on team huddles in which he tries to send a few messages as per mood of the group.
“But the consistent message is always to take the game on. That’s something we pride ourselves on as a group. We must try and play with a level of freedom and allow ourselves to express the huge amounts of talent that we have as a group.
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