Pakistan news March 7, 2012

Whatmore hopes for strong start

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Dav Whatmore, Pakistan's new coach, has said he wants to make a good start in the four-nation Asia Cup, following Pakistan's dismal performance against England in the one-dayers. A 15-man squad gathered in Karachi before departing for Dhaka for the four-nation tournament starting on March 11.

"The Asia Cup is a very important tournament given the opposition," Whatmore told reporters. "Overall it's a difficult assignment so it is one of the many tests around and it's good to be the part of it and I am looking forward to it."

Pakistan have a poor record in the Asia Cup - winning the title once since the event first took place in 1984, while India have lifted the cup the most times (five), followed by Sri Lanka (four). But the event carries a unique importance due to a high-profile India v Pakistan contest. Pakistan will play their first match against Bangladesh on Sunday and take on Sri Lanka on March 15, before going head-to-head with arch-rivals India on March 18.

Whatmore has toned down the hype, suggesting that the match is similar to the others in the event. "We understand there's an extra bit of interest attached to the fixture against India and it's good for the game, people and for the players but we are treating it as any other match."

Whatmore, the 57-year-old former Australia batsman who coached Sri Lanka to a World Cup title in 1996, took charge on Saturday on a two-year contract, with his first assignment in Dhaka. Pakistan will land in Bangladesh having conceded 4-0 and 2-1 defeats in the one-day and T20 matches against England in the United Arab Emirates last month.

"That was a little bit not in the script and I am sure the team wants to make amends," Whatmore said. "Certainly they had terrific Test series and that was a little bit of a surprise but that's the way it goes some time. We are not looking back and look to put our best foot forward and work on those areas where we can improve and rectify.

"Everyone starts the game at a level playing field. It's important that we are able to focus on what we are capable of doing - respect the opposition but we focus on what we can do - we can't make the opposition do anything different."

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was confident his team can bounce back. "We failed to perform at our best against England," Misbah said. "But the team will not repeat the same mistakes again. There is nothing to be worried after the failure against England because the same team has performed well in the last one-and a-half years."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • PakFan1209 on March 10, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    Pakistan team should change their batting order to win matches, their openers should do a strong and fast start

  • DaniMajo on March 10, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Pakistan will win Asia cup.

  • umkhan on March 9, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    pakistan need imran nazir

  • Sports4Youth on March 9, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    I don't expect anything from this thoroughly useless fast bowlers (Gul & Riaz). They are also the worst fieldiers in the pakistan team. they account for most of the dropped catches.

  • Sports4Youth on March 9, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    What strong start ? How can you get a good start with bowlders who have a bowling like Gul & Riaz who have bowling avg of 28 & 29 in first class matches. Sadaf Hussain (avg-18), Rahat Ali (19), Nasrullah Khan (22) & Mohd.Talha (23) are not even in the team. Pakistani officials are not interested in winning matches. they are just interested in promoting players of thieir choice, at what ever cost.

  • PakFan1209 on March 9, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    misbah should not be the captain of the team shahid afridi should be the captain

  • razakbhai123 on March 9, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    It is a very good move by PCB, A foreign coach is free of regional politics which has proved lethal for Pakistan,also he will be free of chacha Bhatija ! as per my view he needs to focus on temperament and to get adjusted as per the demand of the situation ! when you need few runs and have plenty of balls remain than you do not need to go for big shots ! this is where coach can work on.I wish Misbah will not waste any more delivery when it is very important to score !

  • dummy4fb on March 8, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    I don't know why PCB is under false impression that a foreign coach or a certified coach can lead Pakistan team to success. This is is a cultural issue where playing a sport is not considered a profession and the attitude of the player is that if I am scoring runs or taking wickets, I don't need a has been to tell me how I should play. PCB needs to stop imitating and get a grip on reality real quick. I am also wondering how Dav plans to communicate with Shahid Afridi, Akmal brothers and Abdur-Rehman. Will PCB hire an interpreter?

  • dummy4fb on March 8, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    I hope Dave can help all the tuk tuks to speed up and not play like test cricket. Hammad Azam should come before Misbah and Younis. I wish Imran Nazeer was playing too.

  • dummy4fb on March 8, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Win or lose, i really don't care but please, TEAM PAKISTAN, play good cricket like professionals. You are chosen among huge young emerging players to represent Pakistani cricket as you are professionals. We don't want to see bowling out under 200.

    I wonder why PCB is reluctant to add strike fast bowlers from young squad. We need someone who has high odds of taking couple of wickets in first 5 overs to put pressure on the opponents. Gul, Cheema and Wahab have are very dull fast bowlers.

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