Contrary to the general impression that Pakistan are featuring in the World Cup without three of their key team members, Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer believes that all his 15 ‘key’ players are in the Caribbean.
Woolmer got visibly displeased when ‘The News’ asked him on Monday to comment on the mood in the Pakistani camp as the team was forced to play the World Cup without three key players.
“I am disappointed in you for asking this question,” he retorted. “Over the years these 15 players have done more duty for the team than those so-called key players,” added the Englishman referring to Pakistan’s top strike bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif who were withdrawn from the Pakistan team last month on fitness grounds.
Most critics believed Pakistan’s World Cup ambitions suffered a major setback with the pullouts of Asif and Shoaib together with the withdrawal of experienced all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.
“All our key players are right here with us,” said Woolmer pointing out of the window of a Kensington Oval room towards his players who were practicing in the nets ahead of their World Cup opener against the West Indies.
You can clearly see that all the pre-World Cup criticism he and his team has faced in recent times, has made Woolmer an angry man.
One expected he might come out with a diplomatic answer when asked about some harsh comments made by two former captains Imran Khan and Javed Miandad against the team Pakistan have selected for the World Cup as well as the job done so far by the team’s coaching staff.
But Woolmer was far from diplomatic. “Some former (Pakistan) players and coaches have their own agendas,” he said. “They can say whatever they want about my team but I must say that my players would answer their criticism by performing out there in the middle,” he expressed.
Imran and Javed along with several other former Test players like Sarfraz Nawaz and Aamer Sohail have been openly critical of Pakistan’s build-up for the World Cup. They have almost counted Pakistan out of contention for the title, especially after the loss of Shoaib, Asif and Razzaq.
However, Woolmer is confident that his team is capable of going all the way in the World Cup.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2007 and is filed under World Cup 2007.
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