Windies to launch World Cup campaign with Pakistan one-dayer
by CricketArchive staff reporter

Player:BC Lara, Inzamam-ul-Haq
Event:West Indies in Pakistan 2006/07

DateLine: 8th December 2006


West Indies captain Brian Lara said his well-rested team were eager to launch their World Cup campaign in the one-day international against Pakistan at Faisalabad on Thursday. "We have been on the road for the last three months and after the first match was washed out we got the much-needed rest and now we are focused on the four remaining games," Lara said. The first game of a five-match series was cancelled due to rain in Rawalpindi on Tuesday. The West Indies also meet India in four matches in mid-January before playing the opening match of the ninth World Cup against Pakistan on March 13 next year in Jamaica. Lara said the West Indies, who have in the past three months finished runners-up to Australia in both a tri-nation series in Malaysia and then in the Champions Trophy in India, were on track for the mega event. "We are well positioned in the one-day game. We have performed really well, not just in the Champions Trophy but we have been playing good cricket in 2006, even going back to the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in 2004 where we were the champions. Our one-day game is not too bad but our only worry at this present time is that we are pretty close to the World Cup and the likes of Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo are not here." West Indies vice captain and key batsman in one-dayers, Sarwan, fractured his right instep during the recent third Test against Pakistan and had to return home. Bravo was allowed to return home for personal reasons. Lara hoped other players would seize the opportunity. "We actually depend a lot on Sarwan and Bravo in one-day arena but their absence will give an opportunity for younger players to stake their claims and cement their positions," Lara said. "Conditions in Pakistan aren't too different from ours. Pitches are normally good batting tracks so we see it as a benefit to be playing against a team ranked higher than us and if we win it will give us psychological advantage." Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq also felt that the first match washout had given players a chance to rest. "We got a good rest. It was disappointing to lose the first match but you can't do anything about rain," said Inzamam, who returned to the team after completing a four-match ban for bringing the game into disrepute in the Oval Test in August. Inzamam said his team needed a good effort to beat the West Indies. "West Indies is a very good one-day side so we need to play at our best to beat them," said Inzamam. Squads (from): Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Rao Iftikhar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Danish Kaneria, Umar Gul and Abdul Rehman West Indies: Brian Lara (capt), Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Daren Ganga, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Runako Morton, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith, Denesh Ramdin, Ian Bradshaw, Corey Collymore, Jerome Taylor, Daren Powell and Dave Mohammed


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