Captain confident of semi-final win

Saleem Khaliq May 11, 2010

KARACHI: Pakistan’s captain Shahid Afridi said on Tuesday that they no longer have an excuse to perform badly and have to win against Australia in the upcoming semi-final on Friday.

Talking exclusively to The Daily Express newspaper, Afridi admitted that Pakistan have not performed like defending champions in the group or the Super Eight stages but they got the big win they needed to build momentum and confidence. “I have full confidence in my players that we will reach the finals and give the nation something to be happy about,” said the jubilant captain, fresh off winnings against South Africa. “A strong Pakistani team beat South Africa and we will not be under pressure against Australia.”

Leadership pressure

“On the field, I ended up looking after other players and lost concentration on my own game,” said Afridi, finally admitting what fans and experts alike had been speculating. “But I overcame it and can handle both now. I know it is important for the captain to lead from the front and that was apparent against South Africa.”

Television problems

Afridi revealed that the match was not being telecast in the hotel that they were staying in and after watching the first innings at the stadium, they had to call home after every five, ten minutes to ask for the score. "We started praying for the Kiwis’ defeat right after our win and thanked Allah when we got the good news."

Published in the Express Tribune, May 12th, 2010.