Pakistan hit top gear in preparing for next year’s World Cup with former great Javed Miandad giving special coaching to faltering batsmen in a week-long training camp that began Wednesday.
Manager Intikhab Alam said the camp is the final phase of Pakistan’s preparation and Miandad’s involvement would be a boost.
“It’s a great chance for the youngsters to get useful training from Miandad in this final phase of our training for the World Cup,” he said.
“And I am confident that first in New Zealand and then in the World Cup this team will achieve the best results,” Alam told AFP.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi last week expressed dissatisfaction in preparations for the World Cup with key players Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir suspended on charges of spot-fixing.
Pakistan are also uncertain of the selection of wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and all-rounder Shoaib Malik who are reportedly under suspicion for match-fixing.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt earlier announced that Miandad will serve as batting consultant during the camp in Lahore.
“Miandad has agreed to be batting consultant and help out the players in the camp but he will let us know in a few days’ time if he is going to New Zealand with the team as well,” Butt said.
Miandad said he was happy to help batsmen ahead of the event. Pakistan crashed out of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa and the 2007 tournament in the West Indies in the first round, mainly because of batting failures.
“I am always ready to help the Pakistan team in any way because Pakistan cricket has given me a lot,” he said.
“I hope that they improve their batting and achieve better results in the World Cup,” said Miandad, whose batting helped Pakistan clinch their only World Cup title in Australia in 1992.
Pakistan finish their tour of New Zealand on February 5 and after a week’s rest fly to Bangladesh for two World Cup warm-up matches.
They open their World Cup campaign with a match against Kenya on February 23, 2011 in Hambantota, Sri Lanka.