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Friday, December 17, 2010

Shahid Afridi dreams of ending career as World Cup-winning captain

Shahid Afridi, captain of Pakistan’s ODI cricket team, admits that 2010 has been a challenging year for the Pakistan cricket team, but is hopeful that the new year will be different and that he and his team will “give Pakistan cricket the place it deserves.”
Talking to the media at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, the Pakistani skipper said that winning the World Cup for his country had always been his biggest ambition.
“Part of that ambition was fulfilled last year when we won the T20 World Cup in England,” said Afridi, “but as captain, I would love to end my career having led the side to the World Cup title next year in the subcontinent.”
Pakistan’s cricketing year in 2011 will begin with a Test series against New Zealand, as part of its tour of New Zealand that begins on December 26. The remainder of 2010 will see the two teams play a series of three T20 matches. Afridi thinks the timing of the New Zealand tour is perfect for the Pakistanis to brush up their form before the World Cup.

"I am sure that this tour will enhance the confidence of our players and that would reflect in the World Cup,” said Afridi. “Playing in difficult batting conditions in New Zealand and then on the subcontinental pitches in the World Cup will be something our players will relish."

He is also sure that the Kiwis feel the same way about the upcoming tour, and that will make for an exciting series.
"If we can take advantage of the pressure the Kiwis are feeling right now after being beaten by Bangladesh and India, then I am sure our players will go into the World Cup as a confident lot," he added.
On Pakistan’s preparations for the World Cup, Afridi stated that they had “already accomplished 90 percent of the task of finalizing our squad for the World Cup.”
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