British cricketers are avoiding Pakistani players: Broad

Dhaka: England paceman Stuart Broad on Thursday said they are avoiding Pakistani cricketers ahead of their World Cup warm up clash, which will be first between the two sides since the spot-fixing scandal rocked world cricket.

Broad said the equation has changed after the spot-fixing saga although they shared a good relationship with the Pakistani counterparts before.

Pakistan and England will lock horns tomorrow in the last warm-up match of the World Cup, beginning Saturday here with the clash between hosts Bangladesh and India.

The Test series between the two countries last year was marred by spot-fixing allegations, which led to imposition of bans on the then Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and pace duo of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.

"We`ve not seen a huge amount of them in the hotel -- we`ve not been going out for dinner with them particularly," Broad told reporters today.

"Obviously it was a tough summer for us last year, all England players will say the same," he added.

Relations between the two teams hit an all-time low when British batsman Jonathan Trott and Pakistani paceman Wahab Riaz got involved in a physical altercation ahead of Lord`s One-day International in September 2010.

"We enjoyed playing the cricket, but off-the-field incidents did damage our wonderful summer of cricket," said Broad.

Broad`s maiden Test century against Pakistan at Lord`s was also overshadowed by the spot-fixing drama surrounding Butt, Asif and Aamer.

"You`ve got to move on, it`s international sport. You`ve got a job to do to prepare for our World Cup campaign, that`s our sole focus."

Broad, who was not keeping well till recently, made an inspiring comeback as he helped England register a narrow 16-run win in the first warm-up match against Canada with his five-wicket haul.

"I was a bit nervous before the start. It was great to get back on the pitch and take some wickets. We weren`t overly happy with the performance but there are positives we can take out of the game," said Board, who had to cut short Ashes tour after tearing an abdominal muscle during the second Test in Adelaide.

"I hadn`t had as much bowling as I`d have wanted. A few of the lads have had it (illness) -- that happens in this part of the world and hopefully I`ve got mine out of the way," said the bowler.

Broad said it was important to gain early momentum in the World Cup, especially after the team`s dismal show in their last seven-match ODI series against Australia, which they lost 1-6.

"We have some points to prove after the last seven or eight games of our ODI form and it`s important we start that tomorrow (Friday)."

Broad said England`s experience of winning the 2010 World Twenty20 Championship in the Caribbean would also come in handy during the World Cup in the sub-continent.

"What we learnt from that tournament is that we gained momentum throughout. That`s one thing we have to do here. It`s a long tournament and we have to gain momentum.”

"Going to that T20 no-one outside the set up believed we could win. But inside we had real belief. Everyone knew their roles and when you have that confidence, it`s a very powerful thing."

England would take on the Netherlands, who beat England in the 2009 World Twenty20, at Nagpur in their inaugural World Cup match on February 22.

"There is no time for slip-ups when we play the Netherlands on Tuesday," said Broad.


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