WICB Media Release
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (WICB) — With less than one year to go before the first ball is bowled in Christchurch in the Cricket World Cup 2015, Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka, Misbah-ul-Haq of Pakistan, South Africa’s AB de Villiers and West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo, preview the flagship event and talk about their sides’ preparations.
Bravo said he was looking forward to appearing in his third World Cup and aimed to arrive for the tournament with a number of victories under his belt.
“I know everyone else in the West Indies team is very excited. You get excited to be involved in such a huge international event and I’m looking forward to doing something very special as a player and as a team.
“I just want us to play together and develop a squad of players who will make up the core of the team. We need to start winning more, while at the same time enjoying each other’s success and company. That would give us the confidence to know that we can do well next year. We need some wins under our belt.”
West Indies opens its campaign against Ireland on 16 February in Nelson and previewing the pool that also includes India, Pakistan, South Africa, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Zimbabwe, Bravo said: “This is a very good group. I had a look at it and I saw when and where we play our games.
“It’s a tough group but I expect us to do well and qualify. We have to take it one step at a time. We will come up against some great teams and some dangerous teams but we believe we will make it to the quarter-finals and beyond.
Mathews, who missed the final against India in Mumbai in 2011 due to an injury, said Sri Lanka was aiming to be in the best possible shape when it takes on New Zealand in the opening match of the tournament in Christchurch on 14 February.
“We need to peak at the right time, and we need to peak going into the World Cup, so that’s going to be the main challenge for all of us. We need to stay positive and play our brand of cricket. I think the mental approach is going to play a vital role, because going into a World Cup, we don’t need to put a lot of pressure on ourselves.
“We all know that it’s probably the biggest event that you can participate in. So it is a privilege, and we need to take it like that and enjoy our game.”
Misbah-ul-Haq said he was looking forward to leading his side in Australia and New Zealand for the tournament that the green shirts won in 1992 under Imran Khan. The 39-year-old middle-order batsman believed his side had the ability and potential but emphasised that the team that peaks at the right time will win on 29 March.
“Pakistan won its only World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 1992. So, you can well imagine my excitement and anxiousness. I’m sure a lot of cricketers, like me, will have their eyes on the Cup and will be hoping that they’re selected for this prestigious tournament.
“You don’t require extra motivation when you represent your country, but returning to the environment or territory where you reached the zenith of glory 22 years ago can provide that extra confidence and boost you need to excel in a high-pressure tournament like the World Cup.
Previewing his side’s opener against India, Misbah said: “It is interesting that our last game in the 2011 World Cup was against India and the first in the 2015 will be against the same opposition. We lost in Mohali and then again in Colombo and Birmingham in the World Twenty20 2012 and Champions Trophy 2013, respectively. But, we’re a side that is capable of winning big matches and high-profile tournaments.”