Full-strength Indian team at ICC is good news: Waqar

Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2002, 20:50 [IST]
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Colombo: Pakistan cricket captain Waqar Younis on Tuesday welcomed the participation of India's top players in this week's Champions Trophy, saying he was glad the sponsorship row had been resolved. "We are glad that the problem has been sorted out and a full-strength Indian team will take part," Waqar told reporters here. Saurav Ganguly will lead the 14-man Indian squad, which includes master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, for the 12-nation Limited Overs tournament starting in the Sri Lankan capital on Thursday.The row, which centred over the conflicting rights of the official tournament sponsors and the players' personal sponsors, had been threatening the prestigious One-day event since early August. Waqar said his team was one of the favourite to win the tournament, which features all 10 Test-playing nations and two minnows, Kenya and the Netherlands. "Our success rate in One-day International cricket over the last 12 months is as high as 66 per cent," the Pakistani captain said.Pakistan launches its campaign against hosts Sri Lanka in Thursday's day-night opener at the Premadasa Stadium. With the lowly rated Dutch the third team in the group, Thursday's winner is almost certain to qualify for the semi-finals. "Sri Lanka will be under pressure playing in front of its own crowds after having won the Morocco Cup in August," Waqar said, dismissing claims that the hosts had a psychological hold over his side. Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, making his first appearance in Sri Lanka, said he hoped the wickets in Colombo will suit him. Akhtar stressed he was not after speed records after being credited with touching the 100-miles-an-hour (160-kilometres-an-hour) mark in a recent One-day match against New Zealand at Lahore, Pakistan. "I am more interested in taking wickets because that is what the team needs and I am a team man," Akhtar said. Pakistan: Waqar Younis (captain), Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Imran Nazir, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammed Sami, Rashid Latif, Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Misbah ul-Haq, Wasim Akram, Younis Khan, Yousuf Youhana. Coach: Mudassar Nazar

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