IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Mature Shahid Afridi eyes Twenty20 defence


afridiRejuvinated by his recent limited-overs form, Shahid Afridi has set his sights on helping Pakistan retain their World Twenty20 title in the third edition of the tournament, to be held in the Caribbean next April. Afridi was named Twenty20 captain after Younis Khan retired from the format after leading Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title in June and has continued to excel as a match-winning allrounder.

Afridi was instrumental in this summer’s triumph, turning in Man-of-the-Match performances in both the semi-final and the final. “I am becoming more and more responsible with my batting,” Afridi told AFP. “I want to help my team win the World Twenty20 again next year and then the bigger prize in the World Cup in two years time.

“Being the captain I have to do planning for the World Twenty20 because I want to win it once again, for my team, for my country and for my people who get inspired with our wins. There is no cricket back home so it is important that we keep winning and motivate the youth to take up the game which will keep the interest alive in our country.”

The last five years have been the most productive of Afridi’s career, where despite brief patches of indifference, he has established himself as a fixture in Pakistan’s limited-overs set-up. His form has been particularly good this year, with impressive performances in the ODI series and Twenty20 against Australia in Dubai in May, his critical role in leading Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title, and now in the first ODI against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.

“I know all my fans want to see my explosive hitting, but I am more of a bowling allrounder and want to be remembered for that,” said Afridi.

Pakistan are due to tour Australia for three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 between December 26 and February 5. Afridi has decided to not play Test cricket in an attempt to give his best in limited-overs cricket. He recently turned down an offer to represent Tasmania because he wanted to focus on his team’s forthcoming tour of Australia.

Source:Cricket News

Image Source:Cricinfo

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 6th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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