Afridi was quoted as saying by PCB that the present players representing Pakistan are the best they have. He stated, “At present, the players representing the Pakistan national team are the best we have in terms of talent and ability. These players have performed consistently in recent times, in fact, some of them have been performing for a considerable time period. These are our best players, they are the ones whose talent we have to utilise.
“We need to keep them motivated and hungry for success. We need to support the players in tough times, as a cricket fan and former player. I can accept the team losing as long as they fight it out on the field. I feel that cricket has changed a lot in recent years. Now, attack is the best defence and there is no way to succeed other than by playing with an attacking intent, especially in the white-ball formats,” he added.
Afridi advised the Pakistan team to back their abilities and play to their strengths. According the former all-rounder, the same is not happening as of now. Afridi further added,“Our players are good at either attacking or blocking. Maybe, we need to find a middle way, especially for the ODI format. All our players need to back their abilities and play on their actual strength.”
Afridi was a major part of Pakistan’s World T20 2009 victory. According to him, the current outfit is capable of replicating what the Younis Khan-led side achieved 12 years back. He opined, “In the UAE, we have a very good record and have done very well against some top-ranked teams and that augurs well for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Spinners and batters will have a prominent role to play in the UAE conditions. If the ball starts to reverse, then we have the potential of being the very best, if we play to our strength, we have a good chance of winning the tournament.”
Shahid played 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan. Apart from playing a number of match-winning knocks, he also won matches for the team with his leg spin.
--By A Cricket Correspondent