Pakistan players during a practice session at ICC Academy in Dubai on Wednesday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Islamabad: Former Pakistan cricketer Aamir Sohail believes Pakistan team’s experience on the UAE pitches will help them triumph at the Asia Cup, which begins on Saturday.

Pakistan will open their Asia Cup campaign against Hong Kong on Sunday and will face arch-rivals India in their second match on September 19.

The tournament will feature six nations including Pakistan, defending champions India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and Afghanistan.

Aamir who played 47 Test matches and 156 One Day Internationals, said Pakistan must monitor how India and Sri Lanka execute their plan on the field.

“India and Sri Lanka are tough teams and good competition is expected from them,” he said.

However, Aamir said Pakistan’s 2017 Champions Trophy win will give them more confidence when they face India in the competition.

“Pakistan will definitely have an upper hand on all teams as they have played in the UAE more than any other team,” he said.

Speaking on improving the internal affairs of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Aamir said chairman Ehsan Mani must conduct an evaluation process (performance based) among the board officials sitting at top slots.

“A person who has been performing in his work must continue while those not giving results should be held accountable,” he said and added Mani must eliminate politics from the PCB.

Responding to a question regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between PCB and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2014 to play bilateral series from 2015 to 2023, he said former PCB chairman Najam Sethi had just given false hopes to the whole Pakistani nation about the Pakistan-India series otherwise there was no such thing on paper.

Former ICC president Zaheer Abbas said Pakistan has bright chances of winning the Asia Cup because UAE pitches are no stranger to our players.

“It is their home ground and we can expect Pakistan to bring the Cup home,” he said.

Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has said the national team is fully prepared for the tournament.

“I am confident that the team will show consistency by putting up collective efforts and good teamwork, which are the basic elements to inspire a team to success,” he said.

The chairman of the selection committee said spinners are likely to play a dominating role on slow wickets and conditions of the UAE. “We have two spinners in our team and the role of spinner Shadab Khan will be very important and he can play his part in team’s success,” he added.

“The team picked for the Asia Cup is a blend of talented players who deserve to be part of the team, which is balanced in batting, bowling and fielding.

“I believe the team is prepared in all aspects and it is going to live up to the expectations.”