Waqar: World Cup vital for Pakistan

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The Independent Online

A Pakistan triumph in the World Cup would help convince other countries to play international cricket in the country again following a lethal terrorist attack in 2009, according to coach Waqar Younis.

Pakistan currently play all of their home series at neutral venues after gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus and a vehicle carring match officials at Lahore almost two years ago, killing several policemen and a driver.

The incident also led to Pakistan being stripped of co-hosting the World Cup, which starts next week and will be staged in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. "It's very important for us because our people want to see international matches," Waqar said. "I'm sure if we win the World Cup it will open a new chapter."

Three Pakistan players were banned for a minimum of five years by the International Cricket Council last week on corruption charges, and Waqar has praised his team for staying focused to beat New Zealand in Test and one-day cricket and only narrowly lose a one-day series to South Africa. "Despite so many controversies, the team had done well in the last year," he said.

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