Afridi will provide Hafeez with all the help he can
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has announced that he will be fully supporting his teammate Mohammad Hafeez, who is now the new Twenty20 captain after Misbah-ul-Haq was stripped of his and removed from the side.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore before the team left for Sri Lanka, Afridi noted that he never had a chance to be named the new captain, and he was not disappointed with the decision made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“As far as I am concerned, I have never run after the captaincy. Hafeez is now not only the choice of the board to lead the team but also the choice of a cricket-loving nation. I am there to support him all the way just like other players of the team have to do,” Afridi said.
Afridi, who was a former captain himself, stated that he was in the team to perform well, while also giving any help and advice Hafeez may need during his beginning days as captain.
“We will support him all the way,” he said.
Afridi, is currently one of the most senior players in the side, but was stripped of his captaincy in 2010 after getting into a heated dispute with the PCB.
After Afridi had been removed as captain, the PCB appointed Misbah-ul-Haq to take charge of Pakistan in all three formats of the game.
However, even though ul-Haq lost the Twenty20 captaincy to Hafeez, the PCB did announce that he would still be leading the nation in Test and ODI cricket.
Afridi, noted that he aimed to improve his batting averages in both the ODI and Twenty20 series during the Sri Lanka tour.
“In recent times, while I am satisfied with the way my bowling has gone, obviously I could have done better with the bat. On the coming tour I am keen to improve my batting performances,” he said.
The all-rounder, also mentioned that he expected Pakistan to do extremely well in Sri Lanka since the conditions and pitches seemed to be better suited to bowlers.
“Bowlers get some assistance from the pitches so I am looking forward to a good series,” he added.
But Afridi, also knows that Pakistan have a few tough months ahead of them, as they face Sri Lanka and Australia, before playing in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
“The next few months are important for us. The coach and the trainer have been working hard with us and if we do well we can improve our rankings in all three formats of the game,” he said.