Misbah looks a year ahead to prepare strong side for World Cup

Karachi: With exactly one year to go before the first ball is bowled in Christchurch in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Pakistan’s skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said that he is looking forward to prepare his side strongly keeping an eye on the prestigious tournament.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said he was looking forward to leading his side in Australia and New Zealand for the tournament that the green shirts won in 1992 under Imran Khan.

The 39-year-old middle-order batsman believed his side had the ability and potential but emphasised that the team that peaks at the right time will win in the tournament that begins March 29 next year.

“Pakistan won its only ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 1992. So, you can well imagine my excitement and anxiousness. I’m sure a lot of cricketers, like me, will have their eyes on the World Cup and will be hoping that they’re selected for this prestigious tournament.

“You don’t require extra motivation when you represent your country, but returning to the environment or territory where you reached the zenith of glory 22 years ago can provide that extra confidence and boost you need to excel in a high-pressure tournament like the World Cup.

“Past records and current form are good discussion points but as the Pakistan side showed the world in 1992, the team that peaks at the right time, whose players remain fit and fire in key matches, and wins the most important matches, will emerge as the champion in 2015,” Misbah said.

Previewing his side’s opener against India, Misbah said: “It is interesting that our last game in the 2011 World Cup was against India and the first in the 2015 will be against the same opposition. We lost in Mohali and then again in Colombo and Birmingham in the ICC World Twenty20 2012 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013, respectively. But, we’re a side that is capable of winning big matches and high-profile tournaments.

“I’m confident that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be a tournament that will provide the thrill and excitement any spectator would want to see in a truly global event.”

The 11th edition of the tournament will be played in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29 and will include ICC’s 10 Full Members as well as Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which qualified through the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship and the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2014.

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