Good outing in WC would help revive Pak cricket: Waqar

Karachi: The team management of Pakistan`s World Cup squad on Sunday reiterated the importance of the national team doing well in the the 14-team mega event to help revive the state of cricket in the country.

Coach Waqar Younis and manager Intikhab Alam said before the team`s departure from Dhaka to Colombo that a good performance from the players will lead to revival of Pakistan cricket.

"I have no doubt in my mind about the importance of this World Cup for the Pakistan team. It is a very big event in itself but for Pakistan cricket, it becomes all the more significant because of the many problems our cricket has faced in recent times," Waqar said.

The former Pakistan captain insisted that his players were also aware of the importance of doing well in the tournament.

"They know that if they perform well it will go a long way in the revival of our cricket. There is no doubt that our people need a big victory and this would also reignite the passion for cricket in the country," he said.

The Pakistan coach said he was satisfied with the preparations and the mood in the team ahead of their opening match against Kenya in Sri Lanka on February 23.

"We have spent around 10 days in Bangladesh and played two warm-up matches and in this time we have utilised all our energies to boost our fielding and shore up our physical fitness, which is going to be crucial in the matches."

Waqar pointed out that the squad didn`t lack in skills, talent or experience. "The two things we need to focus on in this World Cup is being in top fitness and able to handle the pressure situations," he said.

Waqar said Pakistan cricket had got a boost after the team`s fine performance in New Zealand and now needs to carry the momentum into the World Cup.

"In a way it is good we are playing a match before we meet hosts Sri Lanka on the 26th because that match is going to be vital to our chances of qualifying for the knockout stages," he said.

Alam also highlighted the importance of doing well in the tournament. "Pakistan cricket has seen a lot of ups and downs in recent times and it has hit our fans and supporters back home. The team needs to do well, it will be great for Pakistan
cricket especially when you don`t have foreign teams playing in our country at the moment," Alam said.

Alam, who was the coach when Pakistan won the World Cup in 1992 and the T20 meet in 2009, said if the team managed to win this edition of the tournament it would be the biggest moment of his life.

"What more can one ask for then to be involved in the winning of three World Cups. It would be fantastic for me individually, but for Pakistan cricket it would be a shot in the arm," he said.