Pakistan Vs South Africa – Waqar seeks World Cup boost from SA series


Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis Tuesday urged his team to get back to winning ways as they begin the build-up to next year’s World Cup.
“We haven’t won anything recently and after a chaotic England tour things are becoming clearer, so if we win against South Africa and then on the New Zealand tour it will be a good build-up for the World Cup,” Waqar told reporters.
Pakistan play two back-to-back Twenty20 matches on Tuesday and Wednesday, before playing five one-day internationals and two Tests – all against South Africa – before touring New Zealand. Their recent tour of England was marred by spot-fixing allegations which led to the suspensions of Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and M Aamer, who were charged with violating the code of conduct.
The suspensions followed revelations in Britain’s News of the World newspaper claiming that the Pakistani players deliberately bowled no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England in August. An International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct commission is set to hear appeals against the suspension from Salman and Aamer in Dubai on October 30 and 31. Asif withdrew his appeal last week.
There were also allegations from Pakistan of spot-fixing during the Oval one-day match against England, but the ICC cleared the team of any wrongdoing after finding no evidence. Pakistan went down 2-3 in the one-day series, and 3-1 in Tests besides losing both the Twenty20 games on the England tour.
Waqar said he hoped the three players involved in the spot-fixing scandal would be available for the World Cup, starting in February next year and jointly co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“I hope they (three suspended players) are available to play, but at this point of time we can only hope because they are three key players and it’s never easy to lose your key players,” said Waqar, himself a great paceman. Waqar said Pakistan will use a combination of youth and experience.
“We have a blend of youth and experience and with Younis Khan coming into the squad against South Africa we have a chance to blend the team and it’s always good to have experience backing up the youth,” said Waqar. “We are mindful of the preparations for the World Cup and the team is very much on course,” said Waqar who was captain when Pakistan crashed out in the first round of the World Cup in South Africa seven years ago.
Pakistan was also ousted in the first round of the last World Cup, held in the West Indies in 2007.