Karachi, Jan 30 : Pakistan's chief cricket selector Iqbal Qasim has admitted that raising a strong team for next year's World Cup would be tough, considering the team's continuing downslide in One-day Internationals.
"It will certainly need a lot of effort, lot of hard work for us to put our team on right track for the World Cup," Iqbal told 'The News' in an interview Saturday.
"Preparing for the World Cup is definitely our biggest task and hopefully with a combined effort, we will send a strong team for the tournament," he said.
Pakistan suffered huge blows in their ongoing One-day series against Australia. They have lost all four games so far with the latest defeat coming in Perth where Pakistan crashed to a 135-run defeat.
Before the series against the Aussies, Pakistan suffered a disappointing 1-2 series defeat against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last November. That shock came after the Kiwis stunned Pakistan in the Champions Trophy semifinals in South Africa.
This losing streak is quite surprising for Iqbal, who believes that he and fellow selectors had picked quite a formidable one-day squad.
"I still believe that we have a very good one-day team," said Iqbal, a former Pakistan Test spinner. "It seems that the problem is that they haven't played to their potential."
Iqbal stressed that Pakistan will need to carry out a comprehensive postmortem soon after the conclusion of the tour of Australia before resuming what he described as a "rebuilding stage" ahead of the World Cup.
"We have to find out the causes behind such a pathetic performance of our team in Australia," said Iqbal.
"The reports from the team manager and coach will be very important. Then we will have to sit down with the captain and listen to his views. That will help us find out what really went wrong in Australia."
Pakistan's immediate task is to get ready for defending their title in the ICC World Twenty20 championship in the Caribbean this May. Iqbal is confident about the team's potential in the format.
"Our Twenty20 team is pretty much in order," he said adding that he and fellow selectors will sit down with Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's Twenty20 captain, to decide the line-up for the tournament.
"But the World Cup (2011) is a different matter. It won't be that easy to prepare a good team for it." (IANS)
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