Former cricketer says playing conditions in Australia and New Zealand require advance preparation.
Former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram Thursday said players heading for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand should sweat it out at a boot camp to boost their chances of victory.
Pakistan is in Group B of the World Cup alongside India, South Africa, the West Indies, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. They open their campaign against India at Adelaide on Feb. 15.
To prepare for the challenges ahead, Akram suggested a boot camp. “Since Pakistan have no cricket until October [against Australia in the United Arab Emirates] they must hold a boot camp on hilly areas just like Australia do when they go into an Ashes series,” Akram said.
The former skipper said the country’s cricket administrators needed to concentrate on improving fielding and fitness. “For me the only worry is the 2015 World Cup will be totally different as grounds in Australia and New Zealand require great expertise and good preparation,” Akram said.
Declared player of the tournament for his 18 wickets in Pakistan’s World Cup triumph in Australia and New Zealand in 1992, Akram said it would be best to go to Australia early. “I remember we went to Australia three weeks before the event and it helped us a lot,” he said. “The grounds in Australia need adapting to because if you are not used to them you tend to injure yourself.”
Akram said Pakistan also needed to improve their fielding. “When I am away I always ask experts to help Pakistan and recently I talked to Jonty Rhodes who is ready to help Pakistani players in fielding for a short period,” said Akram of the South African, regarded as one of the best fielders of his time.
Akram also added that Pakistan should forget the panic over their World Twenty20 flop in Bangladesh recently. “Australia and England also lost in the Super-10 stages but there was no panic like here in Pakistan. We took it to our hearts and the captain had to step down,” said Akram, referring to Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez’s resignation.