Shoaib optimistic about Pakistan success
Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik insisted that the Toronto Twnety20 cricket tournament is not a B grade tournament because of participating teams like Zimbabwe and underdogs hosts Canada.
“Twenty-20 cricket is always unpredictable and in this shortest version of the game some times fancied rivals get adverse results and we have seen such incidents since the launch of this version”, he told APP after arrival of the team here on Thursday.
He said Twenty-20 cricket is full of excitement and its revolves around some special performances of few players and some times stronger teams are beaten by weaker opponents the way Zimbabwe upset Australia in the inaugural T20 world cup in South Africa last September.
“We are not going undermine any opponent no matter we are playing Zimbabwe or Canada and our prime aim is to beat them to make step by step progress in the tournament”, he asserted.
Shoaib said back to back matches will be played in the tournament and in such a situation prime form and fitness is needed to cope the pressure of the game while facing different type of opponents.
He termed Pakistan team new look comprising young talent in the ranks. “If you look at the composition of the team it comprises most of young players and a lot depends how they perform in the tournament”.
“We have a strong pace battery having fire and sting besides we have some all rounders and batsmen and it is going to be the first exhibition of our young team”,he said.
Pak captain said he was confident of his teams success in the tournament and he anticipates some close matches specially against Sri Lanka.
“I would say we are not under pressure to have a young team ,it is a way of making and building the team by exposing the young talent to high quality cricket”, he said adding “ Our aim is to win it to end a long off in a good manner and to prepare for future commitments, the most important against India early next year.
He said the team had enough practice for the T-20 tournament after participating in the national Twenty-20 tournament at home. We are straight coming here after the final and our all players are in perfect condition”, said Shoaib who led Sialkot Stallions to success in the tournament defeating Shahid Afridi led Karachi Dolphins.
He said tournament has tight schedule and players will not be having enough rest after arriving here almost 18 hours long flight.
Answering a question he said a fully fit Shoaib Akhtar is always a big support to Pak team and he is expecting an inspiring performance from him to motivate young pace bowlers.
“Our first target is to beat Canada and then concentrate on coming matches and we will be taking every game seriously and as important as playing against any stronger side “,he said.
Chief organiser of the tournament, Hasan Jalil along other lovers of the game received the teams. Later ,the team had a brief practice at King city ground to shake off jet lack and to warm up.