|Event:||ICC World Cup 2006/07|
DateLine: 27th February 2007
Australia should have talked Shane Warne out of retirement and included him in their World Cup squad, Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has said on Tuesday.
Khan, who is in Doha as a speaker at the Forbes CEO Forum, told the Gulf Times newspaper that Warne would have come in handy for the Australians at the World Cup considering their recent one-day debacles and injuries to key players.
"Had I been the captain of Australia, I would have asked Warne to be there for the World Cup," Khan said.
"I would have told him to forget the retirement thing. He fits very well in the one-day side considering the situation.
"With Brett Lee as a match-winner not playing because of his injury, Australia should have fallen back on Warne. They would have become stronger."
Warne had already retired from one-day internationals and bade goodbye to Test cricket as well after the recent Ashes series against England which Australia won 5-0.
But Khan, who led Pakistan to World Cup glory in Australia in 1992, also warned that the Australians will be itching to bounce back after beaing beaten by England in the Tri Series finals and suffering a 3-0 whitewash against the New Zealanders.
"Don't go by what you have seen of late," said Khan.
"The Aussies are sure to bounce back and in Ricky Ponting they have an aggressive captain who will make all the difference for them.
"Remember how Australia thrashed England 5-0 in the Ashes after losing the previous series in England."
"There's a big question mark over the fitness of our match-winning bowlers. Till that is not known we cannot evaluate our chances. However, if they make it, we will also be the favourites after Australia," said Khan, who played 175 ODIs for Pakistan.
Khan also added that he would like leg-spinner Danish Kaneria to be used more frequently in one-dayers.
"Danish should bowl more often in ODIs. I always relied on leg-spinners. We were the first to introduce leg spin in the 1983 World Cup. The first leg-spinner to bowl in a World Cup was Abdul Qadir.
"Our strength has been leg-spin.
"In the 1992 World Cup, which we won, Mushtaq Ahmed played a leading role. He was the key to our success."
He had a word of advice for Pakistan captain Inzamam-uul-Haq as well.
"If he wants to make the team fight he has to lead from the front. All captains do that.
"He cannot come in at number five or six and hope he can become a big factor. He has to follow the examples of Ponting and (New Zealand captain) Stephen Fleming. I consider them as good captains."
Khan also disagrees with the notion that minor nations at the World Cup have devalued the tournament.
"You have to give smaller teams a chance. This is the platform from where they can improve, said Khan.
(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)