Shoaib Akhtar confident of playing for Pak for “another four years”

Friday, October 15, 2010

LAHORE - Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has expressed his confidence that he can play for the national team “for another four years.”

“The way I am performing and working on maintaining fitness, I can say with confidence that I can not only play next year’s World Cup but can be a part of the team for another four years,” the Daily Times quoted Akhtar, as saying.

The speedster, who is now bowling with a shorter run-up, also talked about trying to make a comeback to the Test team for the New Zealand tour in December after he failed to find a place in the Test squad for the South Africa series in UAE.

“I still feel I can play some more Test cricket for Pakistan and I am targeting the New Zealand tour before the World Cup,” he stated.

Talking about the controversies surrounding the Pakistan team during and after its tour of England, Akhtar said, “These controversies have shaken the confidence of the team and players and now it is very important to get rid of such problems in order to lift the sagging fortunes of the team.”

“I think it is sad but at the same time, it is important to overcome this factor to infuse new confidence in the team to produce better results in coming assignments,” he added.

Akhtar, who himself is a controversial cricketer, and was recently caught on camera tampering with the ball during a one-day international against England, said that the only way of regaining confidence was by playing a stress-less game with ‘full potential.’

He said Pakistan team had ‘high quality talents’ to beat any team in the world but they needed to exploit those talents with confidence.

“I am a firm believer that our team has the guts and talent to beat any team in the world because we have high-quality cricket talent in our ranks in batting and bowling and what needed is to utilize such a combination with confidence,” he said. (ANI)

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