Waqar Younis eyes redemption for Pak cricket by winning World Cup

Friday, February 11, 2011

LAHORE - Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis believes that his team’s victory in the ICC World Cup 2011 will lead to the return of international cricket to the country and also redeem Pakistan’s image in the cricket world.

“In the last two years, our isolation as a international cricket venue and the spot-fixing controversies have badly hurt us and affected our performances,” the Daily Times quoted Waqar, as telling a news conference.

“This World Cup is very important for us. To me as a former captain and coach it has been a painful period. I honestly believe that this team has the potential to win the Cup and redeem Pakistan cricket in the eyes of the world,” he added.

At the 2007 World Cup, the then Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer had died in tragic circumstances, and the team had suffered a humiliating loss to non-test playing nation Ireland en route a first-round exit.

Waqar felt the Pakistan team deserved a lot of credit for producing some fine performances since last year despite feeling the heat from the spot-fixing controversy implicating three key Pakistani players.

“Despite so many controversies, the team had done well in the last year with series against South Africa and New Zealand,” the coach said.

Waqar reiterated that his team had the capability to bag the World Cup trophy, and also noted that Pakistan had a “definite edge” as the mega event was being held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“I am proud of these boys and [Shahid] Afridi has led them superbly, and I know they have the potential to win this event,” he said.

“We have got the momentum going and it is just a matter of the team clicking at the right time. Since the tournament is being held in the sub-continent I would say the sub-continental teams have a definite edge,” he added.

Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam felt that things were better now for the national cricket, which had been plagued with controversies last year.

“I am confident this will be a controversy-free event for us,” Intikhab said. (ANI)

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