Pakistan hurt but dangerous: Shoaib AkhtarBy IANS
Monday, February 14, 2011
DHAKA - Veteran pacer Shoaib Akhtar Monday said Pakistan are a “dangerous and hurt” bunch, who are aware that they need to win the World Cup to revive the charm of cricket in the country.
Pakistan cricket has been hit by the suspension of three of its players - former skipper Salman Butt and quicks Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif - for spot fixing earlier this month.
“We are a very hurt side but very dangerous. I think the crowds, whatever the team has been through for the last six-seven months, that will inspire us. Pakistan need to gather themselves and we are motivated to play in India and Sri Lanka in the quarterfinals,” Akhtar said.
“We need to win at any cost, the team needs a situation, and what better situation than the World Cup. We need to win this World Cup to bring back cricket to Pakistan, the charm back to the country,” Akhtar said.
“People at home are missing cricket, they are dying to watch players from all over the world playing against Pakistan.”
Akhtar, 36, admits he is in the twilight of his career and wants to live every moment of the Feb 19-April 2 World Cup, which will be his last.
“Playing World Cup in the sub-continent is special. But I will try to make it full of memories. I would love to play every match and go home with the trophy.”
“I have experience now but at the same time, and though I am 36 I’m still bowling very quick, easily touching 145-150 kph. I want people to know that still honourable people play for our country.”
Akhtar said the reverse swing will remain Pakistan’s strength in the World Cup even though the sub-continent pitches favour batsmen.
“I think Pakistan team’s strength lies in reverse swing. We have the best combination of reverse swing and new-ball fast bowlers,” he said.