The signs are good for Pakistan to add a second ICC World T20 trophy to their cabinet, feels Shahid Afridi, who has retired from international cricket but is still up for a stint in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Pakistan have just won the triangular Twenty20 International series in Zimbabwe, beating Australia in the final. They are also the No.1 side in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Team Rankings, well ahead of second-placed India at the moment.
The next edition of the ICC World T20 is in 2020, and Afridi thinks Pakistan will do well when it comes around: “I think it’s still a long way to go and I think the way our boys are playing is very good. All the youngsters, they’re doing a great job, and Inshallah we’re hoping they’re going to do well for Pakistan.”
Afridi, now 38, is still active in the T20 league circuit. He made an appearance for the ICC World XI side recently when they look on the Windies in the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge match, but outside of that, he has been active in the Pakistan Super League and, more recently, the Global T20 Canada league.
Next up is the CPL, where Afridi will be a part of Jamaica Tallawahs, who will be playing three of their games in Florida, a new experience for the former Pakistan captain.
“Yeah, I heard that we are playing three games in America and I have never played any game in America, but let’s see. I don’t know how is the ground or how the pitch will behave, but I’m very excited to play in America,” said Afridi.
“I think with T20, you can introduce cricket anywhere in the world, it’s a short format and I think the people who don’t have enough time to sit in front of the TV or come to the ground to see a whole day. I think this is a great entertainment to people who don’t know about cricket – you can show them, you can bring the people for two or three hours and they can learn a lot from this cricket.”
He might have made his name as a dasher many years ago, but it’s as a bowler that he can contribute now, feels Afridi. “I always consider myself as a bowling all-rounder,” he said. “I think in batting, I’m not that consistent, but in bowling I am very consistent.
“When I started my cricket, I started as a bowler. So I think, I feel good and if you look in to my performance I’m always very consistent with my bowling.”