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Pak has to be consistent in World Cup lead up: Waqar

Published: Wednesday, August 7, 2002, 21:45 [IST]
 
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 Karachi: Pakistan captain Waqar Younis said on Wednesday he was aiming for team consistency as it set off for Morocco and its second big challenge ahead of next year's World Cup. "Of course the main aim is always to win, but for me I want my team to perform at a consistent level and after beating Australia we must keep up the momentum," Waqar said on the team's departure. Pakistan faces South Africa and Sri Lanka at cricket's newest venue in Tangiers, Morocco from August 12 to 21. "Beating Australia has always been the top challenge and now we face South Africa, which is the second top team.

"The tournament, with prize money totalling $ 250,000 and the winners taking home $ 120,000, is organised by the Cricketer's Benefit Fund Series of Sharjah in collaboration with the Federation Royale Marocaine De Cricket. Pakistan will play non-stop cricket in the lead-up to the eighth World Cup, which will be held in South Africa from February 8 until March 23 next year. Soon after the Morocco event, Pakistan, Australia and Kenya feature in a tri-series in Nairobi - shifted from Pakistan over security fears - from August 29 until September 7. The next event on the programme is the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy from September 12 to 30 with all 10 Test playing countries along with Kenya and Holland in attendance. Pakistan then hosts Australia for three Tests from October 1 to 24, a series still in doubt over security fears in and around Pakistan.

Tours of Zimbabwe in November- December and South Africa in December-January will lead Pakistan on to the World Cup. "It's a hectic programme and the most important thing for us would be to keep the momentum and peak when we play the World Cup," Waqar said. Pakistan will miss the services of express bowler Shoaib Akhtar in Morocco who is suffering fatigue. Pakistan and South Africa open the Morocco event with the first game on August 12. Pakistan: Waqar Younis (captain), Inzamam-ul Haq (vice-captain), Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir, Younis Khan, Yousuf Youhana, Rashid Latif, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Shoaib Malik, Wasim Akram, Mohammad Sami, Saqlain Mushtaq and Misbahul Haq. Manager: Yawar Saeed. Coach: Mudassar Nazar.

 

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