2011 will improve image of Pakistan cricket: Intikhab Alam

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/intikhabalam.jpg' class='caption'> Intikhab Alam is confident that the year 2011 will serve as a catalyst for the national side and also improve the image of Pakistan cricket.

Updated: January 02, 2011 11:20 IST
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Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam is confident that the year 2011 will serve as a catalyst for the national side and also improve the image of Pakistan cricket.

"I am confident the way things are going now that this year the team will not only taste success but the image of Pakistan cricket should also improve," Intikhab told Geo Super channel from New Zealand on Saturday.

The former Test captain said the reason for his optimism was not only the improving spirit and discipline among the players but also recent steps taken by the cricket board to put things right.

"There is no doubt 2010 was a very bad year for Pakistan cricket and the controversies and scandal indirectly also had an impact on the players performances," he said.

"It is hard for any team to just focus on cricket and keep on performing consistently when so many things are happening outside the field," he said.

"The last year was like a nightmare for Pakistan cricket, but it is now part of history and we have to look ahead. I have told the players just focus on cricket and the results will come naturally because we have lot of talent in our cricket," he added.

Pakistan cricket was rocked by incidents of indiscipline, infighting and spot-fixing allegations in 2010 which also put the cricket board under pressure which at one stage in March even resorted to banning or fining seven players after the Australian tour.

Worse came on the England tour when Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were accused of spot-fixing in the Test series and summarily suspended by the International Cricket Council.

On the field also Pakistan failed to defend its T20 World Cup crown in the West Indies and lost constantly.

Intikhab who was coach on the Australian tour and then removed and brought back as manager said even the players themselves realised the huge expectations on them leading up to the World Cup.

"I think we need to play really well and with focus in the coming test series against New Zealand and try to win that series and give a new year's gift to our people. The players are also keen to make a winning start to the year," he stated.

He said he was happy at the way the players were responding to the challenges and to the new enforcement of disciplinary measures in the team.

"There are not issues within the team it is just a matter of time before the confidence starts flowing again and there is self belief we can beat anyone," he said.

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