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Shahid Afridi has tried to be diplomatic while speaking to the media ‘officially’ but his body language has been quite different in off-the-record sessions. Sometimes he has been found very arrogant and occasionally he passes the impression of disowning the squad for the ICC World Twenty20 2010 having been selected before his appointment as captain.
Shahid probably wants to have the cake and eat it too. He aims to kill two birds by firing just one shot. No questions would be asked obviously if the team returns triumphant from the Caribbean and he will quite proudly claim the credit for victory. And if the team gets jolted he might simply say the combination given to him was not to his liking.
“Our team is geared up to tactically and technically live up to the expectations of the nations to accomplish the task in the West Indies,” he told APP Correspondent Ehsan Qureshi in an interview in Karachi prior to his departure to Lahore on his way to St.Lucia on April 24.
“Without the prayers of the nation and supporters across the world, Pakistan team can not achieve anything. Besides playing patriotically for Pakistan we needed support of countrymen and media,” he added.
“My appeal to the national media would be healthy in criticism but should keep the interest of Pakistan above all. My mission as a captain and with the support of players and team management to keep the team away from any controversy,” he pointed out.
“I like to lead the team from the front because of my style and I always believe in an aggressive approach which had his stigma throughout his career. We are fully equipped to face the challenges in West Indies. He got well balanced team in batting and bowling and we have to further lift the standard of fielding,” the Pakistan captain remarked.
“Fielding is crucial area in this fastest version of the game and a lot of hard work was done to raise the standard. We are ready give our best and rest with Almighty,” he stressed.
Shahid dispelled the impression that Pakistan may face trouble in batting department. “It’s altogether different in T20 cricket. We got a lot of firepower in our batting. We are initially planning to start the innings with Muhammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal. We have experienced Misbahul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Akmal, Khalid Latif and Salman Butt,” he said.
He expected spinning tracks in the West Indies and considered Pakistan’s bowling attack potent enough to come good on all kind of surfaces.
“Saeed Ajmal and Muhammad Hafeez would be the off-spinners to complement my leg-spin. We have adequate resources in the fast bowling department as well with the likes of Mohammad Aamir, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asif and Abdul Razzaq,” the Pakistan captain believed.
“T20 is very tough and demanding cricket and we can afford to take any team lightly. We even can not take Bangladesh lightly as they possess a number talented cricketer in their line-up,” he concluded.
Syed Khalid Mahmood has had passion for writing and sports since childhood. After having edited wall papers and magazines in his student life, he had started contributing to various international publications from an early age.
He joined the mainstream journalism in 1987 and his first book was published later the same year. After having studied at the famed institutions like Cadet College Petaro and Delhi College, he graduated in civil engineering from the prestigious NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, in 1986.
He has earned greater fame and recognition in the field of media being acclaimed as a leading international sports writer, having worked for some of the eminent newspapers like The Frontier Post and The News International besides a brief stint with The Mississauga News. He has also appeared regularly as an analyst on various television channels.
He has already authored 12 books viz Asian Glory (2012); Reflections (2010); Cricket Fever: A History of Pakistan-India Tours (2008); Mission Caribbean: A Guide to ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 (2007); World Cup 2003: Top of the Charts (2005); Spotlight on World Cup 2003 (2005); World Cup 1999: So Near Yet So Far (2000); Pakistan’s Sports Greats (1997); Pakistan: The Land of World Champions (1995); Pakistan’s Triumph in World Cup 1992 (1993); The Caribbean Challenge: A History of Pakistan-West Indies matches (1989) and Focus on World Cup (1987 and 1994).
He has had an active social life throughout. Having founded The Young Champs in 1984 he became the District Secretary of Rotary International District 3271 (Pakistan) in 2015-16. Besides being the Founder President of the NED Alumni Association, he is also the Vice President of the Delhi College & Schools Old Boys Association. He is also a member of The Petarian Association, Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Engineering Council and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.
His write-ups are carried by innumerable portals and websites across the world while his exclusive articles on the web, having grown in popularity, could be accessed on his blog at www.skmsports.com
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