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Pakistan revel under pressure, says skipper Younis Khan
by AFP


Player:Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan
Event:ICC Champions Trophy 2006/07

DateLine: 7th October 2006

 

Pakistan skipper Younis Khan said Saturday his team enjoys playing under pressure and that he hoped to lead his players to success in the Champions Trophy.

 

"We have always performed well under pressure and I am hoping we will fight until the last ball in the tournament," said Younis, who was reinstated at the helm after having initially declined captaincy earlier this week.

 

"The past is gone and I don't want to be remembered in a negative way," said Younis, who had earlier declared that he did not want to be a "dummy captain", forcing selectors to name Mohammad Yousuf as the skipper.

 

But Younis said he was comfortable being captain again and was looking forward to lead from the front.

 

"We have played well as a team over the past two years and I don't see a reason why we can't do it in this tournament, which is nothing less than a World Cup," said the 28-year-old.

 

"I am always proud to play for my country and hope we can make it to the final here. We have a balanced side even though we will miss Inzamam-ul Haq," said Younis, who has scored 3,756 runs in 139 one-dayers.

 

Regular captain Inzamam is serving a four-match ban after being found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute over his side's refusal to play during the fourth Test against England in August.

 

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer too was confident his team would come out and perform well despite the goings-on off the ground.

 

"It has been a dreadful month and a half and everything will be kept recorded in my brain for a long time to come," said Woolmer, who played 19 Tests and six one-dayers for England, most of them in the 1970s.

 

"You can either crumble or use them (such situations) to strengthen team spirit," said Woolmer. "We are here to play positive cricket and want to leave our baggage behind.

 

"We have a talented side, Younis and Yousuf have a great understanding and there is no problem in the team," added Woolmer, who had coached South Africa with success in the 1990s.

 

Pakistan play their first match against one of the two qualifiers in Jaipur on October 17.

 

The qualifying tournament got under way on Saturday with a match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Mohali.

 

The West Indies and Zimbabwe are the other teams fighting it out for two berths in the main tournament which starts on October 15.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)



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