LAHORE: Captain Misbah-ul Haq insisted on Saturday that Pakistan had thoroughly dispelled all thoughts of the spot-fixing scandal that engulfed his side, ahead of the series against England.
It was against the same opposition, in August 2010, that a British tabloid exposed the scheme that ended in jail terms for Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, and roiled the sport in Pakistan and beyond.
“The Pakistan team has already proved a lot and the scandal is no more on our minds,” Misbah said ahead of the three-match Test series between top-ranked England and a resurgent Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“It’s quite clear now that nobody has kept that scandal on his mind and everyone is just focusing on cricket and will do the same in this series by focusing on cricket,” said Misbah, who replaced Butt as Test captain.
Speaking at the conclusion of a training camp in Lahore, Misbah, 37, praised his team’s resolve after the scandal.
“I must say that this team has focused on cricket on and off the field and that is why we have done well,” said Misbah, under whom Pakistan have not lost any series since being defeated by England in 2010.
He said that Pakistan will have an advantage this time because they know the conditions in the UAE, where they have been playing since 2008 because most teams refus to tour the South Asian country over security fears.
“Playing in Pakistan would have been different, but recently we have played a lot in UAE so we have become used to the venues there so that will definitely be an advantage for us,” he said.
“England is a very professional team and we will have to do well in all departments to beat them.
“I think the players have done well, both the spinners have done well in all our series so we have confidence on them that they will do well.”
The series starts in Dubai with the first Test from January 17. (AFP)