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Pakistan hungry for whitewash: Arthur
By Mohammad Abdullah October 23, 2017
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Sharjah: Pakistan will look to whitewash Sri Lanka with a victory in the fifth and final ODI in Sharjah on Monday.

Pakistan already have taken an assailable 4-0 lead in the five-match series after being whitewashed in the preceding Test series by the visitors.

But now they are looking to exact the revenge by wrapping up series in style said coach Mickey Arthur.

“We want to maintain that hunger for a whitewash. We just want to keep the winning momentum going. We want to stay hungry.

We are looking to finish it in style,” said Arthur.

He also described the bounce back after the Test series as a wonderful feeling.

“Yes, it is an amazing feeling. Test cricket is altogether different and we need to put in a lot of thinking before our next series but our one-day form has been pretty consistent.

“We built a team after the last year that is pretty good and handy. So we are comfortable with that but in Test cricket we need a bit to do,” he said.

With the return of experienced all-rounders like Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez , opener Ahmed Shehzad and prolific batsman Babar Azam, who scored two consecutive centuries in the first two matches, Pakistan have put up a clinical performance not only to bounce back from Test defeat but also outclass Lanka completely.

Lanka became the first team in a decade to beat Pakistan in a home series after beating them 2-0 in the Test series. Prior to that, Pakistan had never lost a home series in their nine attempts since they started playing in the UAE post a terror attack on Sri Lanka bus in the 2009.

Commenting on Lanka coach remarks about Pakistan that they can get up in the middle of the night and put up the same performance, Arthur said: “It take s a lot of time to do that. Guys need to understand their roles what is expected of them. We need to be little more attacking and take wickets and they are playing the brand of cricket that is expected of them,” he added.

Coach praises player

He also praised an unnamed player for reporting a spot fixing approach as “a real example to our team”.

Pakistan cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday confirmed a player was approached with a fixing offer but he reported the matter to the Board’s anti-corruption unit.

Pakistani media speculated him to be none other than the skipper Sarfraz Ahmed himself.

“To be honest the player reacted unbelievably well,” Arthur told media.

“He did everything required of him and we had a chat straight afterwards.

“It was handled brilliantly and I think that is a real example to our team and to the cricket fraternity.

“A really important player was approached and he acted as per the requirement guidelines and did exceptionally well as a true ambassador of the game.”

PCB said the matter was also referred to the International cricket Council (ICC).Arthur was confident any of his players would have acted in the same manner.

“I am very comfortable with our players, they are outstanding and they are intelligent young men and individuals and I have no doubt that if anyone is approached they will do the same way as the individual did,” added Arthur.

As per the anti-corruption rules a player is required to instantly report a fixing offer, failing to which will result in a minimum of six months to a maximum life ban.

Pakistan was jolted in February when two of their players -- Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif -- were caught in a spot-fixing scandal, which rocked the Pakistan Super League and resulted in the ban of both the players. Sharjeel was banned for five years (two and a half years of which were suspended) while Khalid was banned for five years and fined one million rupees ($10,000).

‘Lahore T20’

Sri Lanka’s cricket board on Sunday vowed to go ahead with a controversial tour of Pakistan next week despite top players pulling out and speculation the coach may not join the squad as well.

The Twenty20 final in Lahore will be the first time after the infamous terrorist attack on their bus in March 2009. The board has played down speculation in local media that coach Nic Pothas and team physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham will also not travel to Pakistan.

“Nic has confirmed he will not travel to Pakistan,” Sri Lanka cricket boss Thilanga Sumathipala said.

“We are going to be in Pakistan for just over a day, but it is very important for us to go there and revive international cricket in South Asia.”

No top international side has played in Pakistan since the 2009 attack, which left eight people dead and seven visiting team members and support staff injured.

Sumathipala, who will join the squad for the match, said the board had accepted security assessments conducted by Sri Lankan and Pakistani authorities.

Several senior players who opted out of the Pakistan tour have been dropped from the T20 series, which begins in the UAE on Thursday and concludes with the third match in Lahore. Skipper Upul Tharanga, fast bowler Lasith Malinga, bowler Suranga Lakmal, batsmen Niroshan Dickwella and Chamara Kapugedara were left out of the squad.

On Saturday, Sri Lanka made 28-year-old all-rounder Thisara Perera the captain of the T20 squad.

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