Pakistan can defend the World Twenty20 crown, says Afridi


Karachi : Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi Thursday said his team stands united behind him and was ‘hungry’ enough to take another successful shot at the ICC World Twenty20 which gets underway in Guyana from April 30.

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Afridi, who was attending a World Twenty20 trophy unveiling ceremony here with International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt, said Pakistan can defend the title in the West Indies.

“The victory at Lord’s was a result of excellent team work. If we can play as a unit, and support each other, I don’t see any reason why we can’t repeat our England performance,” the all-rounder said.

Afridi said he had complete faith in his players, adding that a strenuous training camp currently under progress in Lahore has helped them to prepare well for the World Twenty20 to be played in the Caribbean April 30-May 16.

Speaking on the occasion, Lorgat said he was expecting a solid showing from Pakistan. The ICC chief said Pakistan is the most successful team in Twenty20 cricket and under Afridi, their fans were expecting some good performances from them.

Speaking on a different issue, Lorgat said that under the current ‘unfortunate’ circumstances, the ICC doesn’t think that international cricket can return to Pakistan in the near future.

“We are discussing various ideas and plans to help bring international cricket to Pakistan but the reality is that it will take time,” he said. “Pakistan will have to be patient. The good news for them is that they have plenty of cricket on neutral venues.”

The star-studded ceremony was attended by former captain Javed Miandad, PCB chief operating officer Wasim Bari, former Test wicketkepper Rashid Latif and chief selector Mohsin Hasan Khan.