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Waqar bats for entire sub-continent

india Updated: Mar 08, 2007 21:47 IST
AR Hemant
AR Hemant
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Former Pakistan pace ace Waqar Younis believes that a team from the sub-continent will get lucky in the West Indies.

"I think one of four sub-continental nations would lift the World Cup," said Waqar on Thursday after a 'Cricket Star' match between Cricket Star XI and U-19 XI at the MIG cricket club in Bandra.

Waqar, who had represented Pakistan in the 1996, '99 and 2003 World Cups, added: "The wickets in the West Indies should suit our style of play," Waqar said, referring to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

<b1>"It's difficult to predict which team will do how in the Cup; it's anybody's game. Australia are struggling with form and injuries to Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds, but even then, they are a strong side."

Waqar described struggling Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan as key to India's chances in West Indies. "India are struggling with pacers, so their main strength would be their spinners," he said.

"Forget about Irfan's batting - if he bowls well, India will do really well in the Cup," he said.
India had last won the premier cricketing event in 1983. Pakistan followed in 1992 and Sri Lanka in 1996.

Minnows Bangladesh are not expected to set the tournament alight, but they have arrived in the Caribbean with a much-improved recent record: 23 wins and only 11 losses since 2006, and they had also managed a shock win over New Zealand in a warm-up game on Tuesday.

Waqar also admitted that Pakistan have never been their best whenever they have faced India in the World Cup.

"We would like to break this jinx," he said of Pakistan's losing streak of four games, which started in 1992. "Unfortunately for us, India have held their nerves better in those games."

The pace bowler, who had courted controversies over allegations of ball tampering and doping during his playing days, stayed clear of discussing the dope-tainted duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. "They're out of the tournament," Waqar said, "so let's keep them aside and concentrate on the World Cup instead."