Imran wants Akhtar for the semi-final

Published: March 25, 2011
Akhtar’s experience against India will be crucial with the hosts  being good players of spin. PHOTO: AFP

Akhtar’s experience against India will be crucial with the hosts being good players of spin. PHOTO: AFP


Pakistan must guard against complacency if they want to win the World Cup, said former captain Imran Khan as the nation celebrated a thumping win over the West Indies.

Pakistan romped into the semi-finals following a 10-wicket win over the West Indies in Dhaka in the first of four quarter-finals on Wednesday. The victory gave the 170-million population more reasons to celebrate Pakistan Day which also fell on Wednesday.

“Pakistan was expected to beat West Indies who had not beaten any top nation in this World Cup,” said Khan, who led Pakistan to their only triumph in cricket’s showpiece event in 1992. “Now I hope the team keeps its feet on the ground and keeps up the good work.”

High-profile clash

Pakistan will meet India in the semi-final on March 30, knowing they have never beaten their arch-rivals in a World Cup match. But history has counted for little when these two teams have taken the field. Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar won his battle against Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar in the 1999 Test but the batting maestro hit back in 2003 when his side prevailed in a World Cup group game.

Khan also believes Pakistan should give Akhtar a chance in the semi-final.

“Since Indian batsmen play spin well, my advice would be to include Shoaib Akhtar in the team,” said Khan of the paceman who last week announced he will retire after the World Cup.

‘Pakistan have been brilliant’

Another former great Javed Miandad said Pakistan has been superb in the tournament.

“The way Pakistan is playing has been great,” said Miandad who was part of Pakistan’s winning squad in 1992. “I hope they keep up the good work in the next two matches as the nation needs a World Cup triumph.”

Former spinner Iqbal Qasim said Pakistan played to its strengths against West Indies.

“Pakistan planned well for the West Indies match and used all its cards well,” said the former left-arm spinner. “They played Saeed Ajmal to counter the West Indian left handers and that proved to be a good ploy.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • bunny
    Mar 25, 2011 - 11:20AM

    Shoaib must be in…..and shoaib i want you to see shoaib or young times…..pacy with indippers and reverse,,,,,,come on shoaib….its time to do something…..i am really hoping some results from uRecommend

  • Sid
    Mar 25, 2011 - 11:41AM

    Lets be realistic. Anyone who wants Shoaib in is forgetting the age factor that plays in for a fast bowler. It was so evident against his last match that he played. Recommend

  • NR
    Mar 25, 2011 - 12:12PM


  • manzoor ahmed
    Mar 25, 2011 - 12:14PM

    We can give confidence to Akmal brothers,which is good.
    Now Shoaib Akhtar deserves to be brought-in , in the same fashion,
    for the sake of country and cricket lover of Pakistan.
    He and Omar Gul will play vital roll with rest of the accessories. Recommend

  • Danish
    Mar 25, 2011 - 12:54PM

    SHOAIB must be included for this match…as his presence will charge everybody on the field ! Recommend

  • syed kashif Hassnain rizvi
    Mar 25, 2011 - 3:49PM

    he is not fit as he should be so its risk to make him in, i think new guys are doing well job in whole matches…Recommend

  • manzoor ahmed
    Mar 25, 2011 - 4:31PM

    The job is already finished in last 07 matches. Now the game of nerves is left and he is the only one. We need on crazy with speed.Recommend

  • shakil
    Mar 25, 2011 - 4:38PM

    shoib should be play in the simi final he is our cruiz missile against India.I do not think that
    he will miss this chance.he must play plllllzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzRecommend

  • verming
    Mar 25, 2011 - 7:39PM

    Everybody in India wants Shoaib & Akmal in the playing 11 of Pakistan for obvious reasonsRecommend

  • Zohaib
    Mar 25, 2011 - 7:42PM

    Shoaib has to play in the semi final against India. He has a threatening history against India and especially against the Indian openers. He knows their weaknesses and could destroy the Indian batting line. Lets not forget that India has a strong batting side that could score above 300 on these dead pitches. We need Shoaib at his best. We have all the hopes and prayers with the Pakistan team. Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    Mar 26, 2011 - 1:40AM

    I hope Shoaib plays. Indian batsmen have blasted Styne, Lee and Tait. Now it is the chance of Akthar to be the victim like he was in 2003. He is too old and under pressure to perform and we can see him spraying deliveries all over the wicket.Recommend

  • arshik
    Mar 27, 2011 - 1:17PM

    shoib should play against india plzzzzz he can be the match winner,,, im sure..Recommend

  • hasib buT
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:55PM

    plz ..plz Shoaib Ko khIlaya jae coz India waley bht dartey hain akhtar se specialy tendu n viru..!! Plz plz in msgZ ko pohnchaya jae!! Pak team cPtain or cOacH TAK, Recommend

  • Mar 28, 2011 - 9:27AM

    Pakistan need to play with Shoib in the semi`sRecommend

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