KARACHI - Pakistan skipper Younis Khan and his men left here Thursday afternoon for South Africa in hunt for the most elusive cricket title 'ICC Champions Trophy' that will commence there from September 22. Pakistan and England are the only two teams among eight teams appearing in the competition that have failed to bag the coveted title considered as the toughest in all the events held under the flag of the ICC. Since the event was launched in 1998 in Dhaka Bangladesh, Pakistan's performance has been uneventful, the highest it has reached in the competition ever was in the second edition in Kenya in 2000 when it qualified and lost the semi final to New Zealand. Pakistan has once won the World Cup and the T20 World Cup but never the ICC Champions Trophy. However, in the coming sixth edition Pakistan feel confident that it will not be amongst those teams that have the tag of also ran. Other teams in the limited overs biennial competition are defending champions Australia, India, Sri Lanka, England, New Zealand and South Africa. Pakistan is in Group A with Australia, India and the West Indies. In Group B are host South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England. After round robin league, the top two teams from each group will enter the semi final. Captain Younis Khan who held an eighteen-minute brief talk with the media at the National stadium on Wednesday night just before Iftar expressed cautious optimism for his team's chances. He did no count Pakistan out of the title race and said he had always been a great fan of the national team which has the capability to win big events and that was also true for the coming event in which Pakistan would be pitted against the seven Test playing countries. When asked what would be his message for millions of Pakistani fans who would be eagerly waiting for his team to bring home the trophy which was to be held here, he said he would request the fans to pray for the team. He said any kind of law and order problem in the country or bomb blast affect the team abroad mentally. He hoped that all would be well and normal back at home forever. He was reminded that Pakistan team would be visiting South Africa first time after the tragic and mysterious death of former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer whose family reside in that country, he said he and the team would visit the widow of the coach to personally condole with her. If Pakistan wins the trophy, he would dedicate it to Bob Woolmer and would visit his family along with the trophy, he added. When asked whom would be think was capable of winning the title, he surprised many when he took the name of the West Indies. He said he had been a great fan of the Caribbean's and had always thought it to be a side that can win. Pakistan along with host South Africa is other favourite teams. The vastly improved South Africans, playing at home would be in the title race. He said he had always considered Pakistan as having the potential to win big events because it has the capability as was seen in the last T20 World Cup in England. But much depended on the mood of the team on a given day, which can turn the trick, he added while flashing in his trademark smile. He brushed aside the argument that Pakistan's poor show recently in Sri Lanka would affect his team psychologically. Teams do not rely on past laurels or past defeats, they thrive on a given day when they perform better than the opponent. So it was the performance on a given day that would decide the future and not the past. He said he wanted Pakistan to play positive and give aggressive performance. When Pakistan could win the T20 world cup after remaining out of the international cricket orbit for about two years why it couldn't do better after playing so much cricket for the last three months. Moreover, the team had trained hard and was assisted by veteran batsman Javed Miandad to remove the batting weaknesses, which were exposed during pressure situation. He said the training period was not to his satisfaction but whatever time they had, he hoped the team would have removed all its weaknesses seen in various department of the game. Pakistan team was more prepared now than it was during the T20 world cup, he said. Pakistan's biggest plus in the Trophy, he said would be its bowling which is one of the best in the world with pacers Umer Gul, young Muhammad Amir, Rana Naveed, Rao Iftikhar and spinner Saeed Ajmal and incomparable all-rounder Shahid Afridi handling the attack. Commenting on Muhammad Asif, he said the reputed pacer was a match winner but was out of serious action for over a year and he still was serving the one-year ban, which will be over on September 22. He said one could not say with certainty that Asif would be fielded after the ban which will be over after first match against West Indies. Pakistan would like Muhammad Asif in the attack but it had to seen whether he was physically and mentally fit to play a tough international competition. Pakistan had to be cautions in fielding Asif because it would be very crucial both for Pakistan and the future of the player. He should not be rushed, he added. Pakistan's bowling option in the trophy was not bad, he added.When asked would not his team find handling bouncy South African wickets difficult, he said the team had to do a job and do it in confidently and in a proper manner in all kind of given condition. Whatever would be playing condition his team had to adapt to it quickly and excel on it, he added.Asked what strategy the team had drawn to play and win against India, he said playing against India had always been a great occasion for Pakistan and the only strategy that the team had planned was to win. It would give great satisfaction to the team because it was an old sports rivalry. He said he would like to chase the winning target against India. He however identified one area where Pakistan had to follow a strategy and that was in the initial fifteen overs when team should keep intact their wickets and at the same time soften the ball for other batsmen like Shahid Afridi to come and score quick runs. He did not agree with a question that the Trophy competition would be last chance for the senior players to succeed to retain their positions in the team, he said he did not know whether that would be last chance for any body. He said greater responsibilities falls on the shoulders of the seniors to contribute in the success of the team. The selectors were responsible for the selection of the teams.Younis Khan looked to believe in the Platonic theory, which asks people to stay away from meddling in the work of another, when he emphasised that all persons connected with the team, should work in their own field. The chances of wining and good performance enhance if the batsman, the bowler, the fielder and the management all work in their own areas, he added. He said the PCB had already signed the WADA protocol, so every player would be under scrutiny.The other members of the team that left Thursday are Misbahul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Yousuf, Umer Gul, Fawad Alam, Muhammad Amir, Saeed Ajmal, Kamran Akmal, Imran Nazir, Umer Akmal, Rana Naveed and Rao Iftikhar. Muhammad Asif will leave for England on September 22 directly for London from where he would fly to South Africa to join the team. As Asif's entry in Dubai is banned, the pacer would not take the short route that Pakistan had taken to go to South Africa. Yawar Saeed is the manager, Shafqat Rana, assistant manager, Intikhab Alam, coach, Mohtashim Rashid, fielding coach, Masseur Abdul Rauf, a physio and an analyst will also accompany the team. The Champions Trophy would start with host South Africa taking on Sri Lanka on September 22 at Centurion ground in a day and night match. Pakistan in its first match meet the West Indies in day night match at Johannesburg on September 23. On September 26, Pakistan would meet India in day and night contest at Centurion and play Australia in last group league match on September 30 at Centurion in D/N match.