Afridi carries hope for Pakistan at World Twenty20: Hafeez

Published: September 13, 2012

Shahid Afridi is a big match winner for us and hopefully he will deliver for us once more," says Hafeez. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

COLOMBO: Pakistan Twenty20 team captain Mohammad Hafeez expects that Shahid Afridi will recover from an injury in time to play a decisive role in his country’s attempt to win another ICC Twenty20 world cup.

Afridi is hoping to overcome a thumb injury before the tournament, which runs from September 18 to October 7 in Sri Lanka.

“Shahid Afridi is a big match winner for us and hopefully he will deliver for us once more,” Hafeez told reporters on Wednesday.

Pakistan will open their Group D campaign on September 23, when they meet New Zealand at Pallekele. The third team in their group is Bangladesh.

Hafeez believes that Pakistan is well placed to repeat their 2009 World Twenty20 success, particularly because his players are familiar with Sri Lankan pitches and conditions.

“Pallekele will suit us because the ball does a lot there, the seamers will benefit and we should do well. We have a good bowling unit with Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami and Sohail Tanvir, who is difficult to deal with his unusual action,” Hafeez said.

The Pakistani skipper further revealed that the reason Pakistan Cricket Board had allowed Pakistani cricketers to go to Sri Lanka and play in the SLPL (Sri Lanka Premier League) was to get used to the conditions, especially in Pallekele and Colombo.

“Javed will share with us some valuable inputs and it’s a good thing. Whatever he tells us, we look forward to it,” said Hafeez about Javed Miandad’s appointment as Pakistan’s batting coach.

Meanwhile, Mahendera Singh Dhoni, the India captain, has welcomed the return to action of Yuvraj Singh after his treatment for a malignant lung tumour.

“He is a champion player, a match winner and he also helps me get the kind of balance in the side especially in a T20 format,” Dhoni said.

Yuvraj played in India’s one-run defeat to New Zealand in a T20 international in Chennai on Tuesday.

“We don’t really play with the fifth bowler and we don’t have a genuine all-rounder, so part-timers like Yuvraj, (Virat) Kohli, (Suresh) Raina and Rohit (Sharma) are very useful in T20 cricket.” Dhoni added.

India will begin their World Twenty20 campaign on September 19, when they take on Afghanistan in Colombo in a Group A match.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • A. Khan
    Sep 13, 2012 - 12:56AM

    Afridi is past his sell-by date. I don’t know why our team management continues to persist with him as well as Sami and Kamran Akmal.

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  • Cosmo
    Sep 13, 2012 - 1:41AM

    He’s the worst player in the history of Cricket!!

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  • sensible
    Sep 13, 2012 - 9:06AM

    @cosmo
    he is the luckiest player in the world. Average 23 after playing 350 odd matches i am sure he would not even played 50 matches had he played for any other nation!

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  • S.F.Ali
    Sep 13, 2012 - 9:19AM

    He is a Legend! LALA Rocks

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  • Syed Shahbaz
    Sep 13, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Kick out Malik & Umar Akmal from Team if you want to Win!
    We all Pakistani know that Malik & Akmal Brothers are groups which cuz fuss in team kihous.

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  • PaKhtoon
    Sep 13, 2012 - 12:33PM

    @Cosmo: fastest ever hundred, twice hitting the second fastest fifty, highest strike rate,most sixes, more than 300 wickets + 6000 runs in one day international, 3rd highest wicket taker in t20s -
    @cosmo – get a life bro

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  • antanu g
    Sep 13, 2012 - 3:37PM

    @Cosmo:
    and you are the worst judge of players in the history.

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  • Gen Zia Ul Haq
    Sep 13, 2012 - 4:50PM

    Pakistan won the T20 worldcup when Afridi came in at number 3 , as a result he was able to make an impact. However when he is coming in at 6 or 7 he is a liability. He should not be included till he gets his batting form back – remember we just won against the Aussies without him. If he does not have the skill and confidence to bat at 3 DROP HIM

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  • hamid Wazir
    Sep 13, 2012 - 10:20PM

    Afridi not the all-rounder having world class bowling and batting capability, but has is outstanding fielder and the only player after Younus Khan who keep on motivating the players……So why criticizing some one must criticize but it must base on rational rather than criticism for the sake of criticism…………….Hero must be respected if you want to be known as respected nation in the comity of nation.

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  • Green Oval
    Sep 14, 2012 - 6:14AM

    Hafeez rightly does not believe in his own abilities and is setting Afridi up.

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  • Spyder
    Sep 15, 2012 - 7:08AM

    nice to see all the keyboard warriors forgetting afridi’s essential role in the 2009 truimph, the 2011 world cup and many more. He is a true match winner which is why he has been in the set up since 1996. Do us a favour and keep your opinions to yourselves. GO TEAM GREEN!

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