KARACHI - Eager to do well in the upcoming cricket World Cup, some members of the Pakistan squad have asked for particular shirt numbers after consulting their spiritual advisors.

Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal, who was recently blessed with a baby girl, has on the advice of his 'Pir' has opted for number 3 to replace 96 on his shirt.  The report says Umar was fed up with his poor form and in a bid to change his luck, he has asked for this change.  "Umar will be wearing number 3 on his shirt in the World Cup while newcomer Haris Sohail has opted for 89 instead of 80 which he wore in the recent series against New Zealand," the report said.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) allows players to choose their shirt numbers before every mega event like the World Cup and normally players prefer to stick with the numbers they have been using for a while now.  Shahid Afridi for example has worn number 10 for many years in his international career.  The report says some players generally choose numbers on the advice of their spiritual advisors to bring them good luck.

One reason why perhaps the bowlers have all opted for double digit numbers like the tall and lanky has 76, Wahab Riaz 47, Ahsan Adil 91, and Yasir Shah 86. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq has used the number 22 for a while now while senior batsman, Younis Khan has also stuck to 75 for years now. The report said that M Hafeez had run from pillar to post to get the shirt number used by former Pakistan captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq (8) before the Pakistan board finally relented and allotted him this shirt number.