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Inzamam asks Pakistani players to play fearless cricket in World Cup

Karachi: Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has advised the Pakistan World Cup squad to shed the fear of defeat and play with an open and positive mindset in the mega event in Australia and New Zealand.

"I speak from experience. In the 1992 World Cup despite losing six matches, Imran Khan never allowed us to lose hope or hang our heads. We remained positive and the end result was we emerged as upset winners of the competition," Inzamam said at a function in Lahore.

Inzamam, who played a pivotal role in the semi-final and final in 1992 as a promising young batsman, said he would also advise the present set of players to play fearless cricket.

"Nowadays cricket has changed a lot and it is difficult for the bowlers and we have some issues to resolve in this department. But I would still advise our players not to fear defeat and to remain positive even if they lose a few matches," he said.

"If we remain positive and play without fear of defeat I am sure this team, like the one in 1992, can surprise many people," Inzamam, a veteran of 120 Tests and 378 ODIs, said.

The coach-cum-manager of the Pakistan team that won the 1992 World Cup, Intikhab Alam credited Imran for the victory.

"Imran was a great believer in his players and even we kept on losing matches he did his best to keep the morale of the players up and eventually his never say die spirit paid off. A captain has a great role to play in a event like the World Cup," he said.

Former Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir said that Pakistan have never had a more inspirational leader than Imran.

"He always entered the field with only victory on his mind and even in defeat he was always looking to the next match. He trusted his players and backed them to the hilt. As a leg spinner he made me believe I could be successful in limited overs cricket," Qadir said.

He, however, lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board for ignoring former players who had brought laurels for the country.

"It is sad that the Board only looks after those who matter to them but there are players who are today ill and need lot of assistance and the Board is ignoring them," Qadir said.

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