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Pakistan-Australia ready to battle in T20 mode

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younus_haddin.jpgPakistan captain Younus Khan and Australia's Brad Haddin moved into Twenty20 mode yesterday coming face to face with the ICC World Twenty20 2009 trophy in Dubai.

Tomorrow, the two teams will go head-to-head in what will be their final Twenty20 International (T20I) before this summer's event and the players were suitably impressed by the trophy that they could be lifting on 21 June in England.

The game is of special significance to Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, who hasn't played an international math since Boxing Day. Australia have a decent 3-2 record in T20 internationals this year, while Pakistan are slightly more impressive having won 4 of the 5 games they played in 2008. Pakistan are yet to play a T20 game t his year, and with their board boycotting the Indian Premier League (IPL), their players will be keen to get some match practice in.

Younus said: "We're looking forward to the event in England and we'd definitely like to take the trophy home with us. We had a good tournament in 2007 in South Africa, reaching the final but losing to India. This time around we want to go all the way and win it.

"We're excited about playing in England and being in a group with them and the Netherlands will provide its own challenges. It's always tough playing the hosts but I'm confident my side will do well."

Haddin is standing in as captain of the Australia side after Michael Clarke returned to Australia a day or so ago to take a bit of a breather before making the long trip to England. Haddin had this to say: "I'm really looking forward to taking part in the summer's ICC World Twenty20 in England, the country where this format of the game was created. We've got a tough group stage with the West Indies and Sri Lanka in our pool but I'm confident we'll make it through. It would be great to be part of a team that adds the ICC World Twenty20 trophy to Australia's existing trophy cabinet.

"It's an impressive looking trophy and one we'd definitely like to lift in England this summer."

His Pakistan counterpart also liked the look of the World Twenty20 trophy saying: "It's pretty heavy but I think we'd manage to take it back to Pakistan with us if we won it."

The ICC World Twenty20 2009 sees 12 of the top men's teams and the top eight women's teams competing in a best-of-the-best event at four venues - Lord's, The Oval, Trent Bridge and Taunton (women's matches only).

Each of the men's and women's semi-finals and the finals will be played as double-headers at the same venues offering great value to spectators and great exposure to the women's game.

India won the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 in South Africa when it beat Pakistan by five runs in the final in Johannesburg.

About the ICC World Twenty20 trophy:

· Designed and manufactured by Links of London
· Made of silver and rhodium
· Weighs approximately 7.5kgs
· Measures 51cms in height with a width of 19cms at the top and 14cms at the base

Photograph Copyright: ICC

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