Karachi: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has been unable to take time out from his busy schedule to meet up with the World Cup bound Pakistan squad members.
The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shaharyar Khan told the media in Lahore today that he had requested the former captain to spare some time to meet with the players and give them a lecture and pep talk. "But unfortunately he has not been able to give us time and we were told that if the team went to Islamabad he could try to meet them for a while," Khan said.
Imran was captain of the team that surprised everyone by winning the World Cup in 1992 in Australia and New Zealand. "The players were very keen to meet with Imran before flying off for the World Cup but unfortunately he is very busy right now. The cricketer turned politician who also recently got married a second time is revered and respected by players of the present generation and team who were keen to meet with him to talk to him about the World Cup before going to Australia and New Zealand.
"Imran is a busy man these days and couldn't spare time to come down to Lahore for a few hours," another board official said. Shaharyar Khan also admitted that while the Pakistan team didn't possess world class batsmen like Virat Kohli or AB de Villiers so they would have to rely on team spirit and collective effort to get good results in the World Cup.
"It is true we don't have players like Virat Kohli or de Villiers but we have some quality players and if we play like a unit we can beat any team," Khan added. The Pakistan squad is due to embark on their World Cup campaign on Tuesday night from Lahore and will play two one-day internationals against New Zealand on January 31st and February 3rd before flying to Australia for their warm up games.
Khan said the team would have short conditioning camps in New Zealand and Australia to acclimatize to the conditions there. "I have told the players that if they win the World Cup we will reward them handsomely. What every Pakistani wants from them is 100 per cent effort. In cricket nothing is impossible and we have won ICC events in the past as well," he said.