Karachi, Jan 20 - Pakistan's cricket officials believe that the match-fixing scandal in which some of their players were involved has brought the team together ahead of the World Cup in February.
Intikhab Alam, the Pakistan team manager, Thursday said the controversies and uncertainty have actually worked as a catalyst to bond the players of a team that is not really known for its unity.
"All our players are really fired up," Alam was quoted as saying in 'The News' after the tourists drew their second Test against New Zealand at Basin Reserve to win the series 1-0 Wednesday.
"There is a lot of bonding among the boys and they are really backing up each other."
"There are no ego problems. Each and every player is trying his best to do his bit for the team," said the former Pakistan captain.
Intikhab was Pakistan's manager when they won their only World Cup victory in 1992 in Australia. He was the team's coach when the Pakistanis clinched the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 trophy in England.
Intikhab believes that the team is now showing the sort of spirit that helped Pakistan win the two world titles.
"Team spirit had a lot to do with our title wins in 1992 and 2009," he said. "On both those occasions, our boys were completely pumped up and there was a lot of unity. I must say that there is similar atmosphere in our dressing room right now and that's a very healthy sign."
Intikhab was also all praise for Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's Test captain who was named the player-of-the-series for his prolific batting performances in the two Tests played in Hamilton and Wellington.
"The credit goes to Misbah because he has been leading the team from the front," he said. "The players have really responded well. Seniors like Younis Khan are doing a great job."
Intikhab is confident that his team is peaking at the right time.
"With the World Cup just a few weeks away, it is really good to see that our boys are peaking at the right time," he said. "They have just won a Test series which should give the team a tremendous boost."
Intikhab believes that another factor that has contributed to Pakistan's revival is fitness.
"The fitness of our players has been remarkable. They are showing a lot of intensity and the energy level is getting higher." (IANS)
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