“By no means underestimate Pakistan,” warns Shahid Afridi


This file photograph was taken on March 24, 2016, Pakistan’s captain Shahid Afridi throughout a coaching session on the Punjab Cricket Stadium Affiliation Stadium in Mohali on March 24, 2016 forward of their World T20 cricket match match towards Australia.-AFP

KARACHI: Former Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi warned different cricket groups to not “underestimate” the inexperienced jerseys as a result of they’ve gifted gamers who may cause some surprises on the T20 World Cup.

The field workplace pioneer of Pakistan’s White Ball Cricket believes its “unpredictable” nation can conjure up the spirit of 2009 and win one other T20 World Cup.

Afridi was the person of the sport in an exciting seven-run semi-final win towards South Africa on the match 12 years in the past wherein he scored 51 runs.

He then performed once more within the eight-wicket spherical of Sri Lanka within the ultimate at Lord’s, the place he cracked an unbeaten 54.

Pakistan’s victory got here simply three months after a terrorist assault on the Sri Lankan group in Lahore, an incident that resulted within the shutdown of worldwide cricket within the nation.

“We had the difficulty of the assaults on Sri Lanka in thoughts,” Afridi informed AFP.

“The entire nation was dissatisfied and annoyed {that a} victory was urgently wanted.

“The victory introduced happiness and unforgettable moments to the entire nation.”

Afridi stormed the stage in 1996 when he broke the file for the quickest century in ODI cricket, hitting his 37-ball hundred.

It was a file that lasted till 2014.

Afridi, who performed 99 T20 caps for Pakistan, believes the latest setbacks can re-inspire Babar Azam’s group within the 2021 T20 showpiece.

A month earlier than the mega-event, head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis resigned, apparently believing that the brand new chairman, Ramiz Raja, would hearth them anyway.

Then New Zealand broke off its tour of the nation simply minutes earlier than the primary ODI in Rawalpindi.

Three days later, England additionally withdrew its males’s and ladies’s groups from visiting Pakistan.

“That is Pakistan cricket for you, by no means a boring day,” added Afridi ruefully.

“Pakistan can shock any group on this planet. Exclude them at your individual threat.”

In his 22-year worldwide profession, Afridi has been on the coronary heart of Pakistan’s “improper” journey in restricted overs cricket.

– Heartache and Drama –

Afridi anchored Pakistan’s run to the ultimate on the first Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007 and gained 12 wickets, which earned him the participant of the match award.

Nonetheless, Pakistan misplaced twice to arch rivals India – together with the ultimate.

“Pakistan offered the very best leisure on the first T20 World Cup,” careworn Afridi.

“We misplaced to India within the group sport after a bowl-out, which was one thing utterly new for us.”

Pakistan then misplaced the ultimate when Misbah-ul-Haq fell after a rash shot after the third ball of the ultimate, solely taking six to win.

“Misbah introduced Pakistan into the sport however then we simply misplaced,” mentioned Afridi.

Below Afridi, the defending champions Pakistan misplaced within the semi-finals of the 2010 version within the Caribbean when Michael Hussey misplaced 39 runs within the final two overs to provide Australia an unlikely victory.

“T20 suits our character,” added Afridi. “We now have the expertise, the method and the aggression to make this fast-paced format.

“It is a format that’s beloved throughout Pakistan. We gained towards each group after which each group adopted that fashion.

“Bowling is now assorted and new putting methods have developed.”

Afridi insists that Pakistan can once more see some surprises within the United Arab Emirates.

“The present Pakistani group may be very gifted, though there’s a lack of skilled gamers. However as everyone knows, a Pakistani group ought to by no means be underestimated!”

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