Afridi In A Fix – 1 Win Is All We Want..




Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi

Pakistan’s ODI and T20 captain Shahid Afridi admitted that he has a job on his hands to boost the morale of his scandal-hit side after they lost the two-match T20 International series 0-2 to England. Pakistan was all out for 89 — their lowest T20 score ever at Sophia Gardens here, as England won by 6 wickets with 6 over’s to spare.

Pakistan’s tour has been overshadowed by a spot-fixing scandal that has seen Test skipper Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammed Aamer and Mohammed Asif all suspended by the ICC after allegedly conspiring to deliberately bowling no balls during the 4th Test at Lord’s.

But Afridi said off-field problems could not account for Pakistan’s form. “I made some plans as a captain. I knew Butt was my key opener, and Asif and Aamer were my strike bowlers. Everything has changed as a captain for me, but Inshallah, we will come back,” he said.

“We are going through a tough phase, possibly the toughest phase for Pakistani cricket. But as professionals we should overcome that and focus on our cricket. At this stage I know morale of our team is very down. It’s going down with each game lost. But if we can win one game, things will change for the better.

“I just want 1 victory. I won’t like to see my team go down without fighting,” Afridi added. “The inexperienced youngsters cost us the match. One expected a bit more maturity,” Afridi told reporters. “I think we played very awfully. It will be a big challenge to compete in the ODIs, but we have some time,” he added. “Me, my coach (Waqar Younis) and the team, we will sit together and talk.”

Victory, built on seamer Tim Bresnan’s man-of-the-match winning return of three wickets for 10 runs in 3.4 overs, saw England to a seventh straight Twenty20 win — equaling the record for consecutive international victories in this format shared by South Africa and Pakistan.

“In this form of the game it can be tough to win consecutively,” said England T20 captain Collingwood. “It just takes 1 performance from the opposition to break the winning rhythm. To have that World Cup, you can have added pressure on you as well. But the way, we’ve played over the last two games, the boys are enjoying that extra pressure,”

“They tried to come hard at us today (Tuesday) — you could sense that was their approach — but we kept taking wickets and really applied pressure.”There were more allegations in British newspapers, and the negativity looks to be seriously affecting the team’s performance.

England produced a good display of cricket after losing the toss. Pakistan slumped to 22 for four after Afridi was caught for 2 edging to point when trying to slog-pull a delivery from Stuart Broad.

“I will not let my team down like this, not in the ODIs,” Afridi said. “It will be a big challenge to compete, but we have some time.” The first ODI will be played at Durham on Friday.

By: Devesh D. Bhuwad

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