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Waqar Younis says Pakistan focused on upcoming series

Waqar Younis insisted that next year`s World Cup would not distract his side as they prepare for tough series against Sri Lanka and Australia.

AFP |July 1, 2014, 10:24 PM IST
Waqar Younis says Pakistan focused on upcoming series

Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis insisted on Tuesday that next year`s World Cup would not distract his side as they prepare for tough series against Sri Lanka and Australia.

The 42-year-old fast bowling legend took over for a second spell as coach in May from former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore. He aims to better his first stint in the job, when he guided Pakistan to the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup, where they were knocked out by arch-rivals India.

"Of course, World Cup is the long term target and it`s a big event on which every team has set their sights on," Waqar told reporters.

"But there are short term goals as well and they are our three series against Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand."

Waqar, who took 373 Test and 416 one-day wickets for Pakistan, said he hoped to learn from the mistakes of his previous spell as coach -- and he called for an end to the perennial sniping against captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

"It`s good that he has been leading the side for the last three years but its also true that a captain always remains under fire. This has been the norm for the last 25 to 30 years, and we need to change that," said Waqar.

He added that he looked forward to working with Grant Flower, the former Zimbabwe opener who takes over as Pakistan`s batting coach.

Waqar will supervise a short training camp later this month to get Pakistan tuned up for their two-Test and three one-day international series in Sri Lanka in August.

Pakistan play Australia and New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates later in the year, before touring New Zealand for two one-day internationals ahead of the World Cup in February-March.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7748 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 South Africa 5193 110
5 Australia 5854 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10645 260
see more