Pak has a good chance of winning WC: Iqbal

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata: Former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal has said his country has a good chance of winning the forthcoming World Cup as the team has a lot of talent though it lacks the consistency.

"Pakistan has always been unpredictable. Sometimes it plays outstanding cricket, sometimes it doesn't. But I think it has a good chance of winning the World Cup," Iqbal told reporters on Thursday. Iqbal, known to be one of the shrewdest captains of Pakistan, said the current team had a lot of potential and the youngsters had started delivering the goods, which augured well for Pakistani cricket. "What the team needs to do is maintain its high standard at all times. The players have to be consistent to be able to succeed at the highest level. They have to work on this area," the former captain pointed out.

Iqbal said that the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to stage a Test series in Sharjah will dispel all doubts about match-fixing and betting activities associated with the venue. "This decision will put at rest all personal jealousies and allegations. If everything was not okay, the ICC would never have granted permission for the Test series to get underway there," he said. The ICC shifted the two-match Test series between Pakistan and West Indies to Sharjah after West Indies refused to tour Pakistan in view of the security threats.

Iqbal said that he was personally happy that Sharjah has been given the chance to host a Test series. "Although I am no longer connected with the CBFS, I am happy that it has got this opportunity." On whether he agreed that the present security scenario in the sub-continent was not conducive to play cricket, Iqbal said, "I am not in a position to comment on that. But some teams may not feel safe to tour the sub-continent at the moment."

The former Pakistan captain, who is on a private visit to the city, dropped in at the Eden Gardens in the afternoon and watched the Ranji Trophy quarter final match between Bengal and Gujarat for some time. "The Eden has special memories for me since I retired at this very ground. The facilities have improved a lot now. It has always been a pleasure of playing and watching cricket at the Eden," he said. On whether he saw the possibility of India and Pakistan playing in the near future, Iqbal evaded an answer, saying, "I can't say about that."

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