Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik is hoping his side can put their recent off-field woes behind them with victory in the three-match one-day international series against West Indies.
The sub-continent nation have played just five ODIs against strong opposition in 2008, and have gone the whole year without playing a single Test match.
However, speaking ahead of the one-day series against West Indies, Malik is optimistic that his side can return to action with a much-needed morale boosting win in Abu Dhabi.
The three matches will be played at the Zayed Stadium, host of five previous ODI matches - all of which featuring Pakistan.
They have won three - two against Sri Lanka and one against India - and lost once match each to the two countries.
"This may just be one of the most important series we have played in recent times and we are eager to do well," said Malik.
"We are hosting India early next year and we need to get into some kind of rhythm before that.
"We have a few youngsters in the side and this may be their only chance to prove their ability in international cricket before we meet India," he added.
With West Indies taking to the Abu Dhabi surface for the first time in the series opener on Wednesday, Malik is hoping his side can use their previous knowledge of the pitch to their advantage.
"The pitch here is a very good one, maybe a bit biased towards the batsmen," he said.
"That should help the West Indies as well because they have a very good batting side."
Pakistan, who lost their top batsman Mohammad Yousuf to the unofficial Indian Cricket League recently, have been boosted by the return of paceman Shoaib Akhtar, although the quick is a doubt for the first match with a calf strain.
Malik said: "We did pick up five fast bowlers for this series but that doesn't mean pace is going to be our only strategy.
"A lot will depend on how the boys are bowling and also on whether we are batting first or second," said Malik.
West Indies captain Chris Gayle inisists Pakistan can never be underestimated and hopes his batsmen will fire in the series.
"Abu Dhabi is a new venue for us and we would like to make a good start here.
"Pakistan may not have the best preparation for this series but they are always a very dangerous side.
"Their bowling attack has always been good and balanced, so it is up to our batsmen now to take up the challenge.
"Players like Lionel Baker, Brendan Nash and Shawn Findlay are all new and are very exciting prospects. This series is a great opportunity for them to prove themselves."
Pakistan: Shoaib Malik (capt), Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Misba-ul Haq, Khurrum Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar, Abdur Rauf, Saeed Ajmal, Fawad Alam.
West Indies: Chris Gayle (capt), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Xavier Marshall, Lionel Baker, Carlton Baugh, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Shawn Findlay, Leon Johnson, Nikita Miller, Brendan Nash, Daren Powell, Jerome Taylor, Dave Mohammed, Kemar Roach.