ICC Live

In focus

Buy Tickets for 2017 - 300x250

Gul sets sights on adding ICC Champions Trophy to the cabinet

Fast bowler feels Pakistan can end its win drought and add the Champions Trophy to the cabinet

Gul sets sights on adding ICC Champions Trophy to the cabinet - Cricket News
Umar Gul looks in a positive mind set before Champions Trophy.
Fast bowler Umar Gul says Pakistan will try to complete the grand slam and also end its win drought against India in ICC events, when it takes on the best of the best in the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 to be staged from 22 September to 5 October in South Africa.

Only India has won all three senior men's majors - ICC Cricket World Cup (in 1983), ICC Champions Trophy (joint winner with Sri Lanka in 2002) and ICC World Twenty20 (in 2007) - but Umar believes Pakistan is nicely poised to add the one trophy which is missing from its cabinet.

"I believe we have an excellent team for one-day cricket and it is the combination that makes us a quality side. The return of Mohammad Yousuf and Rana Naved has provided further impetus to the side which is bubbling with confidence after its victory in the ICC World Twenty20 in England in June.

"But we're aware that it is not going to be easy at all in South Africa and we'll have to be at our best all through to win. It's such a short and sharp tournament with no Super Six stage which means every match counts and there is no margin of error. To further toughen the task, six of the eight teams are former champions who know what is required to win a mega-event like this," Umar said.

Pakistan is grouped with Australia, the West Indies and India, and Umar believes the 26 September match against India at Centurion will not only provide the green shirts an opportunity to win its first match against India in an ICC event but also a chance to avenge its defeat at the same venue six years ago that sealed a first-round exit for Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003.

"While every match will be important, the game against India, as always, will be special for both the sides. No rivalry can match the India-Pakistan rivalry and I think the 26 September match will be something billions of people all over the world will be waiting for.

"For us, the match is also important for the simple fact that we haven't beaten them in an ICC event and we're desperate to break that sequence."

Reflecting on the status of entering the ICC Champions Trophy as ICC World Twenty20 champion, Umar said: "Although it is a different format, it is always good to go in as a champion side because it gives you that extra confidence which is vital in big tournaments. However, our victory in England has raised the bar of expectations and our supporters want us to win everything. That puts us under more pressure.

"All the teams in the ICC Champions Trophy are excellent sides and we have the highest respect for them. But instead of worrying about their strengths and advantages, we'll follow the same ploy which we successfully followed in England - focus on our preparations, rely on our strengths and stick to our game plans.

"I have always played my cricket for the name at the front of my shirt and not at the back. And if the captain wants me to use the new ball and get him some quick wickets, I'll try not to disappoint him. I'm ready to take the spearhead's role and the requirement of that role is to try to come up to expectations whenever the ball is tossed at you.

"I was the leading wicket-taker in the ICC World Twenty20 and that's the goal I would set for myself again in the ICC Champions Trophy. There's no greater feeling than to contribute in the success of your side. After the victory in England, the side is hungry for more successes and I'm desperate to contribute more to those successes," Umar said.  

Similar Articles