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Shahid Afridi confident about Pakistan team doing well in England

Former all-rounder highlighted the importance of an experienced coaching staff

PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi believes that the Men in Green will do well during the upcoming series against England.

While talking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Afridi said that the presence of an experienced coaching staff, which includes Misbahul Haq, Waqar Younis, Younis Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed, will aid the national side.

“This team has the support of a very good coaching staff, which has extensive experience of playing in England, and I’m confident that they will do well on the tour,” said Afridi.

The Multan Sultans’ player is also keen on prolonging his cricketing career, as long as he is fit and enjoying the game.

“I’m still enjoying my cricket while also maintaining my fitness standards. As long as I can do that, I will continue to play cricket,” he said. “I will step aside as soon as I feel that I’m a burden on the team.”

“I’m still a part of Multan Sultans and have not decided about changing team. It also depends on whether Sultans want to retain me for next season. Last season was really good for us, in terms of team and individual performances, as compared to one before that,” he added.  

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He also spoke about his statements against India, which has sparked outrage across the border in the recent past.

“One should always speak the truth, no matter what happens. I believe humanity is above everything else which is why I don’t shy away from voicing my opinion, even if it involves India,” he said.

He also backed left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir’s decision to retire from Test cricket.

“I think Amir made the right decision my quitting Test cricket,” he said. “He swings the new ball but is not as effective with the old ball because of lack of pace. This works in limited-overs cricket but in Test cricket you need to come back for second and third spell, where Amir would have found things difficult.”

Afridi also heaped praise on Pakistan’s prolific batsman and limited-overs captain, Babar Azam, while also speaking about his comparisons with Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

“Babar Azam is the backbone of Pakistan team and I don’t think he feels the pressure of being constantly compared with Virat Kohli,” he said. “I’m hopeful that Babar will start winning matches for Pakistan single-handedly, soon."

Watch full interview here: