World Twenty20 2009 May 30, 2009

Prepared Pakistan head to England

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan are well-prepared for the World Twenty20 after taking part in a conditioning camp, three practice games and the RBS Twenty20 Cup, coach Intikhab Alam has said.

"No one can make any predictions about Twenty20 matches but I am backing my team to do very well because the preparations have been top-class," he told reporters before the squad left for England.

Alam was particularly happy with the sports psychologist Maqbool Babri's interaction with the squad earlier this month. "They have been through a gruelling conditioning camp in the mountains and have had very productive sessions with a sports psychologist," he said. "Whether it's a Test match, one-day or Twenty20 international, the sports psychologist has impressed upon the guys that cricket is a team game and not about individuals."

The one thing Alam was unhappy about was the exclusion of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar from the tournament. "It is unfortunate because if he was fit and in the team he would have been a big asset for us as he is a very experienced and capable bowler."

However there was good news as well for Alam, as the groin injury to senior batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, who skipped the recent domestic Twenty20 tournament, was found to be a minor one. "The injury is not serious. Misbah could have played [the RBS Twenty20 Cup] but since we are going to the World Cup, we decided that he should take it easy and not put pressure on his groin," Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said.

Pakistan have a couple of warm-up matches, against South Africa on June 1 and against India on June 3, to get accustomed to the conditions in England. They are in Group B along with hosts and the Netherlands.

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