Former skipper Zaheer Abbas has urged Pakistan cricket team to bring consistency in its performance to claim top spot in International Cricket Council (ICC) ranking system.
“I believe this Pakistan team can rise to the top in ICC ranking. The way it outclassed world’s best sides in the ICC Champions Trophy shows that it can do that provided it performs with consistency,” he told APP.
Pakistan entered in the ICC Champions Trophy as the lowest ranked team. However; it pulled off fascinating wins against South Africa, Sri Lanka, England at the group stage before thrashing traditional rivals in the final. The wins saw Pakistan rising to number six place in the ODI ranking, while at the same time it secured direct place in 2019 ICC World Cup.
Zaheer, who served as ICC President said that for obtaining top spot Pakistan would have to show consistent performance against world’s best outfits.
He also asked Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to set its eyes on the World Cup and arrange foreign tours for the young Pakistan side to better prepare it for the quadrilateral event.
“By winning the ICC Champions Trophy, Pakistan’s youngsters have proved that they can deliver anywhere in the world. They are enthusiastic, full of energy and eager to perform. They are fully capable of winning the World Cup. However; for that the board will have to give them more exposure by arranging series with top cricket nations,” he said.
He said series with strong sides in tough conditions would prepare the youngsters for future assignments, especially for the World Cup.
To a question, he said the win in ICC Champions Trophy would have lasting impacts on Pakistan cricket as it had given a way to it.
“After this win I believe we’ve got a way to move forward. The performance of our youngsters has been exceptional. The way they took on world’s best sides in the tournament is remarkable. They deserve appreciation and encouragement for bringing pride for the entire nation,” he added.
He said that Pakistan had still two years to prepare for the ICC World Cup and the board needed to find out some more players, especially allrounders for the mega event.
“The PCB has been successful in finding out some very good bowlers and batsmen. The players like Hassan Ali, Shahdab Khan, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman are great discoveries.
However; I believe we still need to find out two to three allrounders, who can perform in big events. The board will have to go for that because it will be a key to win the World Cup,” he added.