Pakistan tries to switch focus to Cricket World Cup
Pakistan coach Waqar Younis is glad the team can put the spot-fixing dramas behind it and make a fresh start in preparations for this month's World Cup.
The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption tribunal last weekend imposed long-term bans on former captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for bowling no-balls at predetermined times in a test against England to fix spot-betting markets.
"It was important that the whole issue should have been finished before the World Cup starts and I am pleased that it all has just gone down the drain," Younis said Tuesday. "Hopefully, we can start fresh … and deliver good in the World Cup."
The Pakistan coach was one of the witnesses who recorded statements at the anti-corruption tribunal and also at the ICC code of commission.
Reportedly Younis told the commission he was surprised with the how far Amir overstepped on his no-ball, and asked the fast bowler during the break in Punjabi language 'what the hell was that.'
Pakistan had performed well without the banned trio over the past five months. It drew the test series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates and despite losing the Twenty20 series against New Zealand, it won test and one-day series against the Black Caps, breaking long series-winning droughts in both forms of the game.
"It feels good [to win] because our team had been surrounded with so many controversies for the last one year," Younis said. "The way players have co-operated and performed, I am very hopeful for the World Cup."
One-day and Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi said the victories in New Zealand contained positive signs going into the World Cup.
"It was important to do well [against New Zealand]," Afridi said. "But every player has to be in good form and you can't bank on one or two players."