Former cricketer, Misbah-ul-Haq, expressed confidence in the ability of the Pakistani cricket team, led by Babar Azam, to clinch the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s One-Day International (ODI) World Cup in India this year.
During a press meet in Lahore on Saturday, Misbah suggested that the Pakistan cricket management team should devise a strategy for the mega event, considering the team’s strengths. “Pakistan has a strong chance to win the World Cup in India this year,” mentioned the former player, who captained the national team in the ICC World Cup 2015 in Australia.
He also added, “Three of our batters are in the top ICC rankings. We have good bowling options. There is a need to make the right plans at the right time. Select a competitive team and make your way in the World Cup strongly.”
The last time Pakistan won the 50-over format World Cup was in 1992, under the captaincy of Imran Khan.
Misbah commented that batting would be the key to victory in India. “Batters take complete advantage on Indian wickets. Our batters need to work hard and make solid plans before going into the World Cup,” he reiterated.
Misbah believes that more One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for the Pakistani team are necessary. Match practice helps players get into rhythm before the big event, he reasoned.
Pakistan’s Participation in Doubt
India’s refusal to participate in the Asia Cup this year raises questions of whether Pakistan will go to India to play the World Cup in October-November. The Asia Cup deadlock continues between the two neighbouring countries, with India forcing the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) members to shift the regional event from Pakistan due to political differences.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has offered a hybrid model, with two options, to break the deadlock. The first option is for India to play their matches at a neutral venue while all other matches are played in Pakistan. The other option would see four matches of the group stage in the first phase played in Pakistan, while the second phase, including the matches of the Indian team, followed by the next stage matches, including the final, to take place at a neutral venue.