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Hafeez sees tough challenge for Pakistan

May 06, 2013
Pakistan’s cricket team during a training session in Abbottabad. -Photo courtesy: PCB
Pakistan’s cricket team during a training session in Abbottabad. -Photo courtesy: PCB

ABBOTTABAD: Pakistan vice-captain Mohammad Hafeez predicted on Sunday a tough campaign for his team in next month’s Champions Trophy in England.

Addressing a news conference on Tuesday on the third day of the training-cum-conditioning camp at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium, all-rounder Hafeez, who is also the national Twenty20 captain, said Pakistan are eying a good performance in the upcoming event.

Hafeez said that the squad picked for the competition is a mixture of seniors and juniors, adding that the boys are lucky to have services of the batting legend like Javed Miandad whose efforts in the ongoing camp would surely help.

“We have been quite unlucky as we haven’t been able to play in home conditions for the last four years. But despite all odds we have maintained a reasonable ratio of success,” he said.

Talking about the ongoing camp, Hafeez termed the weather conditions in Abbottabad both ideal and more England-like, saying that the team really needed such conditions.

“The next three days are more crucial for the team as the boys really needed to work on their weaknesses in these three days,” Hafeez commented.

He further said that the outfield here is quite fast and helped fielders take long sprints, adding that every member of the team is in high spirits and eager to perform well in the Champions Trophy.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, meanwhile, was all praise for the team’s bowling attack particularly the spin department, saying: “Our side as well as most of the contenders are relying on spin bowlers.”

“We will exhibit high quality of spin bowling and the national team could do even better in presence of [ace off-spinner] Saeed Ajmal,” claimed the 33-year-old spinner.

Satisfied with the weather conditions here, Rehman said that training in Abbottabad is very different from any other city as conditions here are very conducive for working on both spin and fast bowling.

He also said that the ongoing camp will help players in getting acclimatised in England.