Defending champions Pakistan may have crashed out of the World Twenty20 championship following a stunning defeat in the semifinals against Australia but the country’s cricket chiefs believe that their team has given itself a perfect launch pad ahead of a hectic year by shining in the Caribbean.
Wasim Bari, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer, told The News on Saturday that he was impressed with the way Shahid Afridi’s men performed in the tournament, adding that the team is slowly but surely getting ready for a tough season that will include the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and back-to-back series against Australia and England in England this summer.
We may have lost in the semifinals but I believe that the way we’ve played in the event has provided us with a great launch pad and will help us do well during the rest of the year, said Bari, a former Pakistan Test wicketkeeper.
We have a very tough season coming up and the team will benefit from the confidence it will derive from its performance in the West Indies, he stressed.
Pakistan went into the World Twenty20 as the title holders but barely managed to qualify for the semifinals after a couple of early hiccups.
But the Greenshirts seemed set for their third consecutive appearance in the World Twenty20 final after smashing 191 in the last-four game against Australia on Friday. In the end, they were undone by the magic of Michael Hussey who hit a stunning 60 off 24 balls to take Australia into the final.
Shahid Afridi’s captaincy drew flak after the narrow defeat but Bari refrained from commenting about it. He was also non-committal over whether the PCB will retain the flamboyant allrounder as captain for the Asia Cup to be held in Sri Lanka next month.
The thing is that the team is still in the West Indies and we will only sit down and talk about such issues once its back home, he said.
When asked to comment about the Danish Kaneria case, Bari said that the Board will be able to issue its official statement about it after getting something in black and white from the authorities in England.
We’ve heard about it from media reports today but haven’t received anything in writing from the authorities in England. The Board is monitoring the case but will only decide its course of action after getting something in black and white from the concerned people.
Kaneria, the Pakistan leg spinner who plays for Essex, was arrested in London on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud following the police’s investigation into alleged spot-fixing in Essex’s Pro40 match against Durham last September. He was later released on bail till September 15.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, May 16th, 2010 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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