ICL: Indian Cricket League


Brave Shoaib upbeat about Sri Lanka ODI series

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malikShoaib Malik is looking forward to a successful debut as Pakistan captain against World Cup finalists Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series starting in Abu Dhabi from tomorrow (Friday).

Shoaib, 25, said that he was not nervous ahead of the Abu Dhabi series and was confident that all the Pakistan players would rally behind him to put the team back on track after a disappointing World Cup campaign.

“I am not nervous at all,” Malik said a few hours before the Pakistani squad flew out for Abu Dhabi for the series against Sri Lanka.

He added, “We face a tough task ahead of us but I’m hopeful that with good team work we can achieve positive results.”

Shoaib was appointed as the Pakistan captain last month in a shake-up that followed the national team’s humiliating first round exit from the World Cup in March amidst fears that he might not get the support of his senior colleagues.

But the player believes that he would not face any such problems. “I will try my best to live up to the confidence placed in me by the Pakistan Cricket Board with the support of my teammates,” he said.

Shoaib said that he and other team members would put aside the bitter memories of the World Cup when they take on Sri Lanka in the May 18-22 series in Abu Dhabi.

“What happened in the World Cup is now past and we cannot change it. The best we can do now is to join our hands and make a forceful participation in the coming matches,” he said. Pakistan crashed out of the World Cup after back-to-back defeats against hosts the West Indies and minnows Ireland in Kingston, Jamaica. Their coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room just hours after the shock defeat against Ireland and later Jamaican Police announced that he was murdered.

Almost two months on, Woolmer’s murder probe is yet to find any conclusive evidence on the cause of his death. Meanwhile, Pakistan are currently looking for a new coach and till then have entrusted team manager Talat Ali with the coaching duties for the series in Abu Dhabi.

Shoaib sounded upbeat about his team’s chances against Sri Lanka, who would be appearing in the series without several of their top players including legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and pacer Chaminda Vaas.

“Sri Lanka are tough opponents and we would have to give our best to beat them. But I’m confident we would do well in the series,” he said.

“They are a very strong team even without Muralitharan and Vaas,” Shoaib said about Sri Lanka.

The captain pointed out that a tough season awaits his team which is to feature in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September followed by South Africa’s visit to Pakistan for a full Test and ODI series.

“We will have to shape up quickly because some tough assignments against South Africa, India and Australia are awaiting us. The good thing is that all the players are experienced and know what it takes to become the best team in the world.”

Shoaib said that Pakistan have some very capable players and with hard work, the team can go on to win important games in the future.
Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket.

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