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No one favourite for Twenty20 World Cup

Pakistan’s cricket coach Geoff Lawson has avoided to make tall claims for the Twenty20 World Cup, however he said no team even Australia were favourites for the title.

“No one starts as favourite to win an inaugural event and more than one team has got the same chances. It is a new event and no team has got enough experience to make such claims,” Lawson said.

Lawson, who reached Islamabad on Wednesday in connection with a reception at the Australian High Commission, said the Twenty20 World Cup would be an event of run feasts.

“It is a fun event with all the probabilities of a runfest in every over and every match. I would not say that Pakistan will start as favourite in the event as all the leading teams have got equal chances of performing well,” he said.

Lawson said: “The Pakistan team is capable of matching the best and all selected players are capable of performing well in the competition.”

Lawson said he has spent two eventful sessions with the national team in Lahore and found all players are very responsible and hard worker. “I was amazed to see the players interest in the game and I think I have to do very little in helping them performing at their level best,” he said.

Lawson especially praised senior players including Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi for setting the standard for other juniors. “They took special interest in training and all the activities, making it easier for others to follow them,” he said.

Earlier, Australian High Commissioner Lorica McCarthy said “Lawson’s decision to join the Pakistan cricket team and his arrival here is evidence of how close are the relations between the two countries.”

The high commissioner said that cricketing relations between the two countries are very cordial. “Three Australian teams are scheduled to visit Pakistan this season. Australia A is coming to Pakistan next month and soon after the Australian under-19 is scheduled here. The Australian national cricket team will also visit Pakistan at the start of next year. So it means that the relations between the two countries are excellent,” McCarthy said.

She also welcomed rugby trainer David Dwyer for taking up the assignment with the national team.

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan and PCB Director Cricket Operations Zakir Khan were also present at the reception.

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