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Veteran Akram awaits Aussies

09/02/2003 05:32:17 AM Comments (0)

Pakistani all-rounder Wasim Akram said he is fired up to take the field in Tuesday's key World Cup clash against defending champions Australia.

The 36-year-old, playing his fifth and last World Cup, believed a victory over Ricky Ponting's men at the Wanderers in Johannesburg would propel his side towards the title.

"I have always enjoyed taking on challenges," Wasim said.

"Australia have always been a very competitive team and I enjoy playing and performing against them.

"I just can't wait for Tuesday's game and although it would not be a grudge match, we would certainly like to start the tournament on a winning note," he said.

Pakistan, who crashed to a humiliating eight-wicket defeat to Australia in the 1999 World Cup final at Lord's, have been drawn together with the reigning champions in Group A of the preliminary league.

"Memories of that final are still fresh in my memory," Wasim said.

"But I am determined to bury them once and for ever in this tournament. This will surely be my last World Cup and I am keen to end on a high note."

Wasim, regarded as one of the finest left-arm seamers of all-time, is one-day cricket's most successful bowler with 490 wickets.

He is also the only bowler in history to take more than 400 wickets in both forms of the game.

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