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My biggest regret was losing to India in 2011 World Cup semi final: Shahid Afridi

By Rashmi Nanda -

Former Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi revealed that his side’s defeat to India in the semifinal of the 2011 World Cup was his biggest regret of his cricketing career as a skipper.

He said, “We came really close to winning that World Cup. Not winning it as a captain is regretful. I think it was Pakistan’s best ever performance in a World Cup in a very long time,” 

In 2009, the terrorists had attacked the Sri Lankan team bus, since then no international team has toured Pakistan. However, the Zimbabwe team visited Pakistan in 2014 for a series.

The former skipper stated, “The law and order situation in Pakistan is much better now. I think international teams should visit Pakistan. People here love cricket and have been deprived of it for too long. Be it Sri Lanka or India, the Pakistan board has always sent a team to play in these countries irrespective of the situation there. PCB has always supported the other cricket boards.”

Afridi also stated that he will personally talk to players like Chris Gayle to convince them to come to Pakistan and added it is responsibility of all Pakistani International payers to bring back international cricket to the country. 

Afridi told Geo TV, “It is the responsibility of every international Pakistani cricketer, including mine, to try to bring back international cricket to Pakistan. I will talk individually to players like Chris Gayle to try and convince them to come to Pakistan. Even former players like Wasim Akram should try and talk to other cricketers and boards to convince them to send their teams here,” 

According to the media reports, the Pakistan Cricket Board has invited the West Indies cricket team to visit Pakistan in March to play two T20Is.

The all-rounder said about his country’s pitch conditions, “Obviously the wickets in places like Australia and New Zealand are fast and our slow, flat pitches don’t prepare the players for faster tracks. We need to prepare faster tracks at home. IF you play in conditions here, you can’t expect our team to beat Australia in Australia or New Zealand in New Zealand. In those conditions, even a draw is akin to a victory,” 

He said on the retirement of Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and veteran batsman Younis Khan, “They are both experienced players and have been the backbone of the team. They can decide for themselves whether to retire or continue playing.”