Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik believes his players are fully ready for the inaugural World Twenty20 tournament getting underway in South Africa from next Wednesday after crushing their opponents in three warm-up games in Kenya recently.
“The warm-up games in Kenya proved to be of great help and all the players are now prepared for the Twenty20 World Cup,” said Malik on Thursday after arriving in Johannesburg on from Nairobi on Wednesday night.
Pakistan warmed up for the T20 World Cup pencilled in from September 11-24 by thrashing minnows Uganda, Bangladesh and Kenya in a four-nation T20 tournament in Nairobi earlier this month.
The Greenshirts now play two more warm-up games against Zimbabwe and title contenders Sri Lanka later this week before taking on tournament underdogs Scotland in their opening game of the 12-nation spectacle on September 12. Old rivals India are the third team in their Group (D).
Pakistan tried a few combinations in their big wins in Kenya and Malik said that they will once again do a bit of experimentation in the two practice games. Pakistan will play Zimbabwe on Saturday and Sri Lanka on Sunday.
“We want to give our batsmen and bowlers ample opportunity to have a feel of twenty20 cricket before the real tournament begins,” he said.
Malik, who took over as captain from Inzamam-ul-Haq after a disastrous World Cup for Pakistan in the Caribbean earlier this year, was happy with the sort of form shown by his top players including pace star Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media manager Dr Ahsan Hameed Malik said that his team was ‘really motivated’ ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“The boys and team officials are all fully focused on the Twenty20 World Cup and the atmosphere in the dressing room is very positive. They are all really motivated and are confident of doing well in the tournament,” said Malik.
He said that in Kenya, the Pakistani players donated all the prize money earned by them through the Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards during the Nairobi quadrangular for the development of cricket in Uganda.
“The gesture which was initiated by Shahid Afridi in the first match and then followed up by Shoaib Malik in the last game and was much appreciated by everybody involved in the event,” he said.
Malik said that while speaking to the media in Pretoria on Thursday, Shoaib Malik, former captain Younis Khan, vice-captain Salman Butt, Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi talked about team spirit and vowed to give positive results in the World Twenty20 event.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Kenya, Pakistan, Shoaib Malik, Twenty20 World Cup
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, September 7th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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