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Charged-up Pakistan ready for World Cup

cricket Updated: Feb 20, 2011 20:12 IST

AFP
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Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam said on Sunday his unpredictable team were fully charged up for the World Cup despite losing their last warm-up against England.

"The boys are confident of launching their World Cup campaign on a positive note," Alam said, after team's arrival from Dhaka. "We want to win all our group matches."

Pakistan, who beat Bangladesh before going down to England in the lead-up to the tournament, open their campaign with a match against lowly Kenya in Hambantota on Wednesday.

Alam, who was manager-cum-coach with the team which won the 1992 World Cup and 2009 World Twenty20, said the aim is to take no team lightly.

"We know that it's a World Cup and no team has come for an outing, so we have to be at our best to beat any side, whether it's a lowly ranked or a top team," said Alam, brushing aside concerns of not playing at home.

"We know that because of some unavoidable circumstances we are not playing our matches at home, but we have not talked about that any time, not even in the last two months, so there are no such feelings."

Pakistan were one of the four co-hosts of the World Cup until the International Cricket Council (ICC) stripped them of matches following the attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

The attacks, which killed eight people and injured seven Sri Lankan players as well as their assistant coach, sparked a suspension of all international cricket in Pakistan as teams refused to tour the troubled country.

Alam also brushed aside worries over team discipline after Shoaib Akhtar and Wahab Riaz were fined following a late night out in Dhaka.

"They came late to the hotel and were fined. The matter was dead and buried then and there, with a warning that they should not repeat it as it brings a bad name to the team, country and to the players," said Alam.

The manager also said rookie paceman Junaid Khan had impressed with his bowling against England.

"I would not say that he is Mohammad Aamer in the making, because it's too early, but he has shown potential and can show his talent if he gets into the final eleven," said Alam of Junaid, a replacement for injured Sohail Tanveer.

Aamer along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif received lengthy bans on charges of corruption earlier this month.