Moin Khan puts forward his World Cup availability

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Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan on Monday made himself available for next month’s World Cup saying that the poor form of regular wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal prompted him to offer his services for national duty, writes Khalid Hussain.

“Pakistan’s performance has been down in recent times and one of the reasons for it is the bad form of Kamran Akmal. In the current circumstances, I believe my services can benefit our team in the World Cup,” the veteran wicket-keeper told ‘The News’.

Moin’s surprising announcement came just a day before Pakistani selectors name their 15-member squad for the World Cup to be played in the West Indies from March 13-April 28. “I believe I’m experienced and fit enough to play in the World Cup, a high-pressure tournament where you have to have solid nerves,” said the 35-year-old Moin, who last played for Pakistan during the home series against Sri Lanka in the fall of 2004.

Moin, a member of the ë92 World Cup-winning squad, fancied his return to the Pakistan team for several months after facing the axe after that series but it seemed that he had finally lost all hope when he joined a television channel as a talk-show host and anchorman last year.

But Akmal’s extended patch of poor form behind the stumps has renewed Moin’s dream to play for Pakistan again. Moin is a gutsy cricketer who represented Pakistan in two World Cups during a career that spanned over 14 years. But he hasn’t played much cricket in recent months.

However, Moin said that he is physically fully fit for the World Cup. “I’ve been training extensively for the last three weeks and am ready for any kind of fitness test,” he said. Moin, who led Pakistan in 34 ODIs, winning 20 and losing 14, said that Akmal is completely out of form and the worst part is that Pakistan have failed to prepare any substitute wicket-keeper either.

“I don’t think that in current form Akmal should be in the World Cup squad,” said Moin, who has played 219 ODI matches and has scored 3266 runs along with 214 catches and 73 stumpings.

Moin said that if he is awarded a recall by national selectors, he can get ample match practice by playing in a series of domestic games before Pakistan’s departure for the West Indies. Moin was not even considered for Pakistan’s provisional 30-man squad and it is unlikely that he would be picked for the World Cup assignment.

However, the seasoned player said that he is giving the selectors an added option. “I’m providing them with an option which I personally believe is worth trying. I’ve played for Pakistan in two World Cup finals and know what it takes to reach there,” he stressed.

Source:The News

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