ICC World Twenty20 2009 May 25, 2009

Alam welcomes appointment of psychologist

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam is hopeful the sessions spent by the players with the sports psychologist Maqbool Babri will toughen them up ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in England next month.

Babri, who was recently hired by the Pakistan Cricket Board, had two-hour one-on-one sessions with each of the players during the three practice games in Lahore last week.

"One of our primary tasks is to make the players mentally tough," Intikhab told the News. "Mental toughness is one of the key elements needed to win a major title and we believe that the players can improve in that area with help from steps like having a psychologist around for a while."

Pakistan finished runners-up to India in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa two years back. The players had a conditioning camp at a hill resort in Bhurban before the practice matches. They will take part in the first three days of the five-day RBS Twenty20 Cup in Lahore, beginning on Monday, before flying to England.

"We have decided to give the boys a two-day rest because its also equally important to rest and rejuvenate," Intikhab said. "We are preparing for a major event and want our boys to be in peak physical and mental condition for the England assignment."

Pakistan's first match is against England at The Oval on June 7.