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Pak women team`s preparation for World Cup in full swing

Karachi: Unfazed by the uncertainty prevailing over their participation in the ICC women`s World Cup later this month, the Pakistan cricket team is carrying on with their preparations in full swing and are confident of leaving a mark on the mega-event.

"Obviously keeping in mind our preparations we would like to play in India but as far as question of where the World Cup will be held eventually that is a matter for the ICC and boards," Pakistan captain, Sana Mir said.

"As far as we are concerned we just want to play in the event as it is a big event in our women`s cricket," she added.

The Pakistani players have been training in Lahore and getting the best assistance and guidance from former captain Javed Miandad and the national senior men`s team head coach Dav Whatmore.

"Whatmore was with us today and delivered a very educative and helpful lecture today which will help us a lot in our preparations," Mir said.

"We are going through our training with great focus because we want to leave an imprint in this World Cup," team manager, Ayesha Ashar said.

"Hopefully the PCB will resolve things soon."

The Pakistan Cricket Board has already asked the ICC to look into the possibility of shifting the matches of their team from Mumbai to some other venue because of security concerns following the escalation of tensions because of ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Nine Pakistani hockey players returned home on Wednesday without taking part in the Indian Hockey League because of the tensions and after hardline Hindu party, Shiv Sena made it clear they wouldn`t allow Pakistani players to play in Mumbai.

Sources in the PCB said that they were in constant touch with the ICC over the World Cup as the team is scheduled to leave for Mumbai around January 22 or 23rd.

"There is a worry that if the ICC and Indian board are unable to find alternate venues for the Pakistan team to play its matches in India, the Pakistani team could be left out of the event because of the short time left," one source said.

Although PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf had rubbished any such happening but the source said there were fears that this could happen since the ICC didn`t seem interested in moving the World Cup from India to South Africa as proposed by the PCB.

"The concern is that even if Mumbai is out of the equation, other venues in India also appear reluctant to host matches of the Pakistan team," the source said.

In the past three years, Pakistani players in different sports, namely cricket and hockey, have gone and played in India in multi international events like the World Cup, Commonwealth Games etc but none of these events were staged in Mumbai.