Pakistan v England: Cheema aims to restore team's reputation

Pakistan v England (in United Arab Emirates)

Venues:
Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Dates:
17 January-27 February
Coverage:
Live ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 LW and via BBC Sport website (UK users only); live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles; watch live on Sky Sports

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Pakistan must be positive - Cheema

Pakistan team manager Naveed Akram Cheema insists his team's conduct is more important than beating England.

Cheema believes the Test series in United Arab Emirates will play a vital role in restoring Pakistan's reputation after the damaging spot-fixing scandal.

"The most important thing as far as I'm concerned is the spirit," Cheema told the BBC ahead of Tuesday's first Test.

"We leave the results to God Almighty. That is how it should be, that is the gentleman's approach."

Three Pakistan players, ex-captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, were given prison sentences for conspiring to bowl deliberate no-balls during the Lord's Test between the sides in 2010.

Cheema reiterated that the Pakistan Cricket Board's new code of conduct has ensured a "zero tolerance'' policy towards corruption.

"We will not spare anyone who is found involved," he said. "So with all these steps I'm pretty sure there won't be any problem."

Cheema praised the behaviour of the squad during their recent tours of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and claimed it was recognised by the ICC as ''exemplary".

England have been keen throughout their time in Dubai, which hosts the opening Test, to stress they have ''moved on'' from scandal.

But both James Anderson and Andrew Strauss made it clear they would not hold back once the action begins, with captain Strauss referring to the ''competitive juices flowing".

Cheema insists it is possible to balance aggression and fair play.

"As I keep telling my boys it is a game that teaches you sportsmanship and you have to ensure that spirit remains there all the time," he added.

The UAE has become a familiar venue for Pakistan cricket with the country playing all its matches overseas since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009.

But Cheema hopes that it will be the first and last time Pakistan play a Test series against England on neutral soil.

He believes an England tour of Pakistan in the next few years is feasible.

"Yes, why not. All efforts are in hand and we are trying our level best to ensure cricket is played there," he said.

"It is very, very sad. The people of Pakistan, the cricket fans, are being deprived."

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