Pakistan aims for gold in Asian Games cricket


Karachi : Pakistan is aiming to clinch the cricket title at next month’s Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, where the sport makes its debut in the Asiad.

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With India not sending its cricket team, Pakistan believes its second string team can win the Asian Games gold. Khalid Latif, Pakistan’s young captain, stressed that his team will do their best for a medal finish.

“We (cricketers) have never featured in events like the Olympics or the Asian Games, but we can sense the feeling athletes experience when their country’s flag is on top after winning a gold medal,” Latif told the Express Tribune. “It’s an important assignment for us and we won’t take it lightly.”

“Playing for the senior side is a big honour but representing the country in an event like this is nothing less. I’m proud to be named captain.”

Pakistan is among the seeded teams in the event that also features Test nations like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh besides Afghanistan, who were impressive in the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean this year.

Hosts China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore and Nepal are the other teams taking part. Latif said India’s absence has made Pakistan one of the favourites.

“It would have been good to have India in the event because it would have added to the excitement. They are tough competitors but their absence has made us one of the favourites.”

But the right-handed batsman, who has played five One-Day Internationals and equal number of Twenty20s for Pakistan, added that the event would be competitive given the nature of the format.

“Our former greats are serving as coaches in China and Afghanistan so we can expect tough competition from them.”