Karachi: Nov 13, 2011
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has admitted that there was added responsibility on the national team players to present the right image of Pakistan cricket after the spot-fixing trial.
"What has been going on in London is difficult, but we are all mentally very tough and we will not let it affect our performance," Misbah said.
He said that Pakistani cricketers had shown mental strength and resolve in the last one year to put spot-fixing issues at the back of their minds and focus on playing good cricket.
"Pakistani cricketers now have an added responsibility and we must ensure that we are sticking to the responsibilities that one would expect of an international cricketer. We have to perform well and ensure that we present the right image of Pakistan cricket," he told told Pakpassion website.
Misbah who has now led Pakistan to Test wins over New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka since being appointed captain last October, said he had told the team that the most important thing is to focus on performance.
"The team must focus on our cricket and only on our cricket. The last year and a half the team has done very well in all formats of cricket. The priority and attention has to be on playing good cricket and that is what we have been trying to achieve. All the players are putting other things to the back of their minds and concentrating only on cricket."
Misbah also conceded that he would have liked to see his team win the Test series against Sri Lanka by a better margin than 1-0.
"We played some very good cricket in the first Test and it was disappointing not to come away from the three-match series with more than a one-nil margin. We were on top for large periods of the first Test match but fielding lapses cost us."
Misbah also conceded that Sri Lanka had suffered because of the retirements of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.
"It is bound to affect a team when you lose bowlers who have served the team for more than 10 years. It's very difficult to replace those sort of bowlers and you do not see bowlers of that class very often.
"Pakistan found that out when Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis retired. However with Pakistan we just keep on producing good bowlers. I'm not saying that we are producing bowlers of the calibre of Wasim and Waqar regularly, rather we are producing bowlers who are very good and can perform well in international cricket, take wickets and maintain pressure on the opposition.
I think when comparing with other teams around the world, Pakistan continue to have this habit of producing very good bowlers." (PTI)