Waqar Younis says Pakistan focused on upcoming series

Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis insisted Tuesday that next year`s World Cup would not distract his side as they prepare for tough series against Sri Lanka and Australia.

The 42-year-old fast bowling legend took over for a second spell as coach in May from former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore.

He aims to better his first stint in the job, when he guided Pakistan to the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup, where they were knocked out by arch-rivals India.

"Of course, World Cup is the long term target and it`s a big event on which every team has set their sights on," Waqar told reporters.

"But there are short term goals as well and they are our three series against Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand."

Waqar, who took 373 Test and 416 one-day wickets for Pakistan, said he hoped to learn from the mistakes of his previous spell as coach -- and he called for an end to the perennial sniping against captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

"It`s good that he has been leading the side for the last three years but its also true that a captain always remains under fire. This has been the norm for the last 25 to 30 years, and we need to change that," said Waqar.

He added that he looked forward to working with Grant Flower, the former Zimbabwe opener who takes over as Pakistan`s batting coach.

Waqar will supervise a short training camp later this month to get Pakistan tuned up for their two-Test and three one-day international series in Sri Lanka in August.

Pakistan play Australia and New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates later in the year, before touring New Zealand for two one-day internationals ahead of the World Cup in February-March.

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