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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Waqar has kept the team united: PCB chief

KARACHI: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has received strong support from PCB chief Ijaz Butt for his efforts to rebuild the national team following loss of some key players to controversies and scandals.

"I am very happy with what Waqar is doing. He has a plan to move forward and he has handled the team well despite the situation arising out of the spot-fixing controversies surrounding our players and other issues," Butt said in Lahore.

He said he had personally seen the good work done by Waqar.

"The biggest plus is that Waqar understands our cricket culture and has no problems communicating with the players," Butt said.

"He has kept the team united despite the off-the-field controversies we have had to face since last year," Butt said.

Butt said having seen the work put in by Waqar, he was confident of a good showing form the team in the World Cup.

Earlier, Waqar urged the team to put the spot-fixing controversy behind, move on and make a fresh start.

"The World Cup provides us with a great opportunity to make a fresh start. It has been difficult for the players since the controversies broke out last year in England but they have handled it well," he said after reaching home from New Zealand, where Pakistan drew the Test and won the one-day series.

Waqar said the World Cup was a big opportunity for Pakistan cricket to make a fresh start and allow people to focus back on cricket.

"Pakistan cricket is not about controversies, it is about some high class cricketers and performances. The New Zealand tour has given us the right momentum for the World Cup at the perfect time," he added.

The former captain and fast bowler said that the last few months have been difficult for everyone and he had tried his best to keep the players focused on cricket.

"I am happy this spot-fixing chapter is finally over and we can now move on to just cricket as the World Cup represents a big challenge for us. The former fast bowler was coach on the England tour last year when the spot-fixing allegations against Salman ButtMohammad Aamer andMohammad Asif first surfaced.

Waqar also gave a statement to the ICC on the issue along with one-day captain, Shahid Afridi.

Team manager, Intikhab Alam also said that while he was sad and felt bad for the three players - been banned by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal - one had to move on.

"What happened is regrettable but now we must move on and make a fresh start and I think this team is capable of doing that in the World Cup

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