ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - One year on from their success at the ICC Champions Trophy last year, former Pakistan bowler Waqar Younis is giving his countrymen a "fair chance" of winning the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Pakistan shocked the world at last year’s Champions Trophy in England and Wales, and enjoyed success at Lord’s in the first Test against England earlier this summer. Waqar, who played at three World Cups - taking 22 wickets in the process - believes the side’s experience in English conditions will give them confidence ahead of next summer’s Cricket World Cup.
“Pakistan won the Champions Trophy last year, so they know how to play here, and they won the first test match at Lord’s also,” said Younis. “Looking back at the Champions Trophy and the team is building the confidence. The faith is coming. I will give a fair chance to this Pakistan team for winning the World Cup.”
It’s a World Cup that will no doubt see Pakistan well supported at every venue, given the number of Pakistan fans living in the UK, and Younis is hopeful the players will embrace this added pressure and use it to their advantage.
“Pressure is going to be there,” he said. “Expectation comes from the entire country and there’s so many Pakistanis living in this country, so they’re going to travel around and there’ll be a lot of support for Pakistan. So there will be pressure, because supporters bring pressure with it, but they will enjoy it, hopefully, and do well.”
Pressure will also be on home side England, who are the number one side in the ODI team rankings. It was Pakistan who brought their Champions Trophy campaign to an end at the semi-final stage last year, and they’ll be hoping to make amends for their disappointment next summer.
“It’s always a pressure for the hosting side,” added Younis. “The last couple of World Cups the host teams have won it, so that creates even more pressure. England know their game very well, they’re playing on their home ground but other teams are going to come prepared. I feel it’s going to be a good, hard-fought World Cup."
African News Agency (ANA)