It will be a dream to play in World Cup: Misbah

Karachi, Jan 27 (PTI) Veteran batsman Misbah-ul Haq, oneof the prime candidates who is in the fray to lead thePakistan side in the forthcoming World Cup has said thatplaying in the mega event would be a dream come true for him.

Misbah, 36, who has never played in World Cup and iscurrently the captain of the Test team said that taking partin a World Cup tournament feels playing in the showpiece eventis a dream for every cricketer.

"It''s an absolute honour for any professional cricketerto play in a World Cup," Misbah told a website.

"It''s the unquestionable pinnacle for any cricketer and Ican''t wait for the tournament to start."

Misbah is seen as one of the main rival to lead thenational team in the World Cup starting from February 19although flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi remains theone-day captain and is leading them in the ongoing rubber inNew Zealand.

The right-hand batsman said that he was fully preparedand ready to take part in the World Cup.

"The rest is up to the team management. If they feel thatI have a role in the side and they think that I cancontribute, then I will certainly not let anyone down," Misbahsaid.

"It''s always been my heartfelt wish to play in a 50 overWorld Cup and I am certain that I can perform well during theupcoming tournament," he added.

Pakistan are placed in Group A alongside Australia , SriLanka, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Canada and start their campaignagainst Kenya on 23rd February in Hambantota.

Ironically, Misbah lost his place in the national one-dayside last year for the last three one-day internationalsagainst South Africa in the UAE because of poor form the samequestion now being raised about Shahid Afridi.

But the senior batsman''s Test form in recent series hasbeen superb and he has scored half centuries in all of hislast six innings and he backed that up with a 50 in a lowscoring first one-day international at Wellington as well whenPakistan was bowled out for just 124 runs.

Meanwhile former Pakistan captain and ex-chief selector,Aamir Sohail believes that Misbah will be a strong candidatefor the World Cup captaincy if Afridi fails to perform himselfand lead the team to victory in the ongoing ODI series in NewZealand.

"Afridi has to shape up as a player and leader becauseMisbah is breathing down his neck and there is a realisticchance that if Afridi does not lead the team to victory in NewZealand, he could lose the captaincy," Sohail said.

"If Afridi fails to handle the pressure like a trueleader then Misbah will become a strong candidate for theWorld Cup captaincy," Sohail said.

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