Former England skipper Nasser Hussain believes it is foolish to write off Pakistan’s chances in the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup.
While the likes of hosts England, India and Australia are being seen as the frontrunners to win the World Cup by many, Hussain feels ‘mercurial’ Pakistan have the ability to surprise any opposition on their day.
“Many Pakistani fans will say they have followed their team for too long and had their hearts broken many times, but I love them, and I love their cricket,” the former England captain told PakPassion.net.
“I love them because they are mercurial Pakistan and you wonder which Pakistan will turn up on the day. The fact is that you cannot write off Pakistan for this World Cup.”
There is no dearth of young talent in the 15-man preliminary Pakistan World Cup squad which includes two teenage pacers in the form of Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain.
While Afridi had a breakthrough year in international cricket in 2018, Hasnain impressed in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) before being handed his ODI debut against Australia recently.
Hussain is in awe of both the young pacers and is expecting them to make their marks in the World Cup.
“Pakistan always produces these players,” the 51-year-old said.
“And the moment they play it’s like, ‘Wow these lads have got something about them.’ This is what Pakistan do, they play them, they pick them, and they give them a chance. It doesn’t matter how old they are, it’s all about whether they are good enough.
“If you can clock 90mph as Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi can, then that is the sort of wicket-taking potential that will win this World Cup.”
Pakistan are currently in England where they are set to take on the hosts in a one-off T20I followed by a five-match ODI series. The Men in Green will take on Northamptonshire in their second tour game at Northampton on Monday. They had earlier beaten Kent by 100 runs in their first tour match.