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It will be a dream to play in World Cup: Misbah

Karachi: Veteran batsman Misbah-ul Haq, one of the prime candidates who is in the fray to lead the Pakistan side in the forthcoming World Cup has said that playing in the mega event would be a dream come true for him.

Misbah, 36, who has never played in World Cup and is currently the captain of the Test team said that taking part in a World Cup tournament feels playing in the showpiece event is a dream for every cricketer.

"It`s an absolute honour for any professional cricketer to play in a World Cup," Misbah told a website.

"It`s the unquestionable pinnacle for any cricketer and I can`t wait for the tournament to start."

Misbah is seen as one of the main rival to lead the national team in the World Cup starting from February 19 although flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi remains the one-day captain and is leading them in the ongoing rubber in New Zealand.

The right-hand batsman said that he was fully prepared and ready to take part in the World Cup.

"The rest is up to the team management. If they feel that I have a role in the side and they think that I can contribute, then I will certainly not let anyone down," Misbah said.

"It`s always been my heartfelt wish to play in a 50 over World Cup and I am certain that I can perform well during the upcoming tournament," he added.

Pakistan are placed in Group A alongside Australia , Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Canada and start their campaign against Kenya on 23rd February in Hambantota.

Ironically, Misbah lost his place in the national one-day side last year for the last three one-day internationals against South Africa in the UAE because of poor form the same question now being raised about Shahid Afridi.

But the senior batsman`s Test form in recent series has been superb and he has scored half centuries in all of his last six innings and he backed that up with a 50 in a low scoring first one-day international at Wellington as well when Pakistan was bowled out for just 124 runs.

Meanwhile former Pakistan captain and ex-chief selector, Aamir Sohail believes that Misbah will be a strong candidate for the World Cup captaincy if Afridi fails to perform himself and lead the team to victory in the ongoing ODI series in New Zealand.

"Afridi has to shape up as a player and leader because Misbah is breathing down his neck and there is a realistic chance that if Afridi does not lead the team to victory in New Zealand, he could lose the captaincy," Sohail said.

"If Afridi fails to handle the pressure like a true leader then Misbah will become a strong candidate for the World Cup captaincy," Sohail said.