Most successful individuals across various spheres of life take pride in using a cliché — sticking to the basics — as their success mantra.
Pakistan’s first practice session in the Emerald Isles — their adopted (read forced) home country for the World Cup — displayed that when it comes to preparations, they have espoused the theory of sticking to the basics to achieve their motto for the tournament: “No more controversies.”
A 15-second huddle followed by a light warm-up and routine net practice, that made one wonder how the Pakistan team hasn’t adopted some of the fancier drills that are employed by most of the cricketing giants.
Still it appeared to be as methodical and well-organised as any other practice session. This surely meant that Pakistan, renowned for being the most unpredictable side, are focussed on the Cup.
And they have more than one reason to do well. Thanks to the spot-fixing scandal, the team has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Restoring the faith of their countrymen
with an impressive outing is the No. 1 priority for Shahid Afridi’s green brigade. “Of course, they are additionally motivated,” Intikhab Alam, former
Pakistan captain, now the manager, said on Monday. “They have come from such a scenario that they have become mentally very strong. And that’s very important.”
To achieve that, being focussed will be the key for Pakistani players, who easily get distracted. But coach Waqar Younis is confident. “As far as discipline is concerned, it’s necessary. We just can’t afford to have any more controversies,” he said.
“The team has adopted a ‘no nonsense and a zero tolerance policy’ for players,” Intikhab Alam added.
While fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was fined last week for breaching the code of conduct in Dhaka, England paceman Stuart Broad drew attention by saying he’d prefer to keep distance from the Pakistan players.
Reacting to this, Waqar said, “If he wants to keep that (feeling), we will probably show it on the field.” The world too would be keen to watch Pakistan on the field.