Afridi hints at possible squad changes for World T20

Islamabad—Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain, Shahid Afridi has not ruled out making some changes in the national squad for the World T20, which begins India in next month.
Although the national selectors have announced a 15-member squad for the Asia Cup and the World T20 but Afridi said the selectors and team management will closely watch performances in the Asia Cup to be held in Bangladesh from February 24.
“I hope that we don’t need to make changes in the squad and it plays in both events but if any player fails to click in the Asia Cup than there can be changes made in the side for the World Cup,” Afridi said.
The International Cricket Council has set March 8 as a deadline for those teams who have qualified for the super round to make last minute changes in their selected squads. “If they are players who impress everyone in the Pakistan Super League they can be considered for the World T20.”
Afridi also minced no words in stating that he was disappointed with performances of some players in recent times under his captaincy, Cricket Country reported.
“Myself, the team management and selectors gave full confidence and support to every player but unfortunately what we are looking at the same response was not forthcoming from players,” he stated.
Afridi said he can say for sure that in his captaincy every player who was in the team got full chances to show his performances.
“I don’t believe in dropping someone after just one or two matches. And I can say this clearly every player who played in the team got full support and confidence from me, the coach and selectors.”
“Unfortunately our players lack consistency. I am hoping that if the Pakistan Super League is held regularly for the two to three years than new talent will emerge and also get a chance to polish itself playing in front of crowds in the PSL,” he said.
“Back home in domestic cricket no one comes to watch matches and there is no real pressure on the players to do well. To me the PSL can serve as the platform where players can develop their confidence and learn to play under pressure.”
He said if any senior player felt it was time to go and there was talent to replace him he should retire.
“If there is some capable talent who can replace me I am ready to say goodbye and leave room for him in the team,” Afridi said.
Meanwhile, Pakistani left arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan felt he would produce a great show during the World Cup due to tips he had received from the legendary pacer Wasim Akram, the mentor of the Islamabad United.
“Wasim bhai has worked with me a lot during this Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the nets. He has given me very useful tips and that has added to my confidence. I feel I am now in good rhythm,” world’s tallest bowler said, quoted by Gulf News.
Seven-feet-one-inch tall Mohammad Irfan won the man of the match through a big spell of bowling, taking three wickets for 22 runs to help Islamabad United oust Lahore Gladiators from the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Wednesday night.
Akram, a left-hand pacer himself, has helped Irfan with invaluable pointers on how to trap batsmen. “Akram’s tips have given me more rhythm and this has added to my confidence,” said Irfan.
When asked about his fitness, Irfan said: “I feel 100 per cent fit now. I am looking forward to doing well in the Asia Cup too before the World Cup. I am confident I can do well and I am happy that PSL is being held before these two big tournaments.”
Though Irfan has played in 59 one-Dayers and is only 19 short of 100 wickets in this format, he has played only in four Test matches. “I am hopeful that I will soon be playing in more Test matches. In New Zealand one-Day matches too I was bowling with nice rhythm, So I am improving day by day,”said Irfan.—APP

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