Younis asks his team to learn from Caribbean debacle

By Omar Khalid, IANS,

Karachi : Still haunted by the bitter memories of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, Pakistan captain Younis Khan has asked his team to take lessons from the debacle and give their best in next month’s World Twenty20 Championship in England.

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Younis said in an interview Wednesday that he is yet to put behind the Caribbean disaster when Pakistan were bundled out of the quadrennial spectacle following first round losses to hosts West Indies and underdogs Ireland.

“That was one of the worst moments of my international career,” said Younis, who was one of the senior members of the team that flopped in the Caribbean.

The experienced batsman pointed out that due to the unpredictable nature of the Twenty20 format, Pakistan will have to be careful in avoiding any similar lapses in the World Twenty20 Championship to be played in London and Nottingham June 5-21.

Pakistan is placed in Group B of the tournament and is bracketed with hosts England and Associate member Netherlands.

Younis is taking nothing for granted even though Pakistan, runner-up in the inaugural edition of the World T20 in South Africa in 2007, have an easy passage to the Super-eight stage.

“England is a strong team and will have the advantage of playing at home,” he said.

“Netherlands may not be a highly-ranked team but after having lost to Ireland (in the World Cup), I don’t think any team can be taken for granted. I still have nightmares about that defeat and want my team to give its best to avoid any similar setbacks in England.”

Younis made it clear that Pakistan is not the only leading team that will be vulnerable in the World Twenty20 Championship.

“I believe that the Twenty20 World Cup format gives you little room for mistakes,” he said.

“One bad innings can send any team out of the tournament.”

Younis said that he would want his team to win both its Group B matches and enter the Super-eight stage with full confidence.

He said that Pakistan will try to make full use of two warm-up games in Nottingham and London. Pakistan will meet South Africa in a practice match in Nottingham on June 1 and will later play old rivals India in a mouth-watering clash at The Oval on June 3. The match will be a replay of the 2009 Twenty20 World Championship final.

“It will be good for our team to play those practice games before the tournament,” he said

Pakistan will begin its title campaign with a match against England on June 7 at The Oval.