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Not playing in IPL won't affect Pak T20 WC chances: Kaneria

cricket Updated: Apr 17, 2009 19:09 IST

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Indian Premier League is being seen as a dress rehearsal for the Twenty20 World Cup by many players but Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria feels missing the cash-rich event will in no way hamper his team's chances at the June mega-event in England.

"I don't think missing the IPL will affect our preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June. We have done considerably well in the shortest form of cricket and the upcoming one-day series against Australia will provide the much needed match practice," Kaneria told 'PTI Bhasha' from Karachi before leaving for England to play county cricket for Essex.

Pakistani players were barred from participating in the IPL by their government when it was supposed to be held in India before a clash of dates with general elections forced the organisers to shift the event to South Africa.

The change of venue, however, could not ensure Pakistani participation as the squads had already been finalised by then.

Asked who would be the favourites to lift the World Cup, Kaneria said defending champions India and South Africa would be the top contenders.

"On the basis of current form, India and South Africa are the strongest contenders but we can not ignore Australia. Pakistan also has done well in T20 cricket. Actually no one can predict in T20 cricket as it all depends on the day's performance," said Kaneria, who is in the Pakistan's list of World Cup probables.

Despite not being a member of the Pakistan one-day team, Kaneria said he was optimistic of getting a place in Twenty20 team on the basis of his county experience.

"I am again playing for Essex in this county season. Some T20 matches are also scheduled there so I will get enough practice and idea of pitches before the world cup. I believe that this will work for me," he said.

He also rubbished talks about his retirement and said he is working hard to get his place back in the team.

"I have never thought about retirement. I am playing county cricket to remain mentally and physically fit and I am sure to be back in the ODI scheme of things," he said.

Kaneria rued the lack of quality spinners in world cricket.

"At present, only (Muttiah) Muralitharan, Harbhajan (Singh) and (Daniel) Vettori are top class spinners in world cricket. Murali is on the verge of retirement. We don't get good spinners now because of the influence of Twenty20 cricket which is mainly meant for batters," he said.