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Shahid Afridi

Afridi sees England, India in 2019 CWC’s final

ISLAMABAD: Former skipper Shahid Afridi has predicted hosts England and India to play the 2019 Cricket World Cup final but also urged Pakistan to win the remaining four-matches of the tournament.

Afridi, who was popularly known as Boom Boom, said he thinks England, India, Australia and New Zealand will make it to the CWC semis but it will be the hosts and the Men in Blue to play the final.

“There was a time when India used to struggle in bowling but now they have improved their standard of cricket very much. They have some good spinners and fast bowlers,” Afridi said while talking to Shoaib Akhtar on his YouTube channel.

Coming to Pakistan team, Afridi, who was also termed as Lala, said Pakistan must play their natural game without pressure in the remaining matches.

Citing India’s example, he said former robust batsman Rahul Dravid has been assigned with the Indian Under-19 side.

“We must also utilize the services of Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq for the u19 team,” he advised.

Afridi, who took 48 Test wickets and over 350 in ODIs, said Younis, Yousuf and Razzaq understands today’s modern cricket very well therefore can prove very useful for the u19 side.

“Skill development programmes must be taught to players in the academies available in Pakistan,” he said and added that a player without skills cannot survive in the team.

Afridi, who announced his retirement from international cricket on February 19, 2017, said Pakistan team is suffering with the same old problems like poor fitness and below-par fielding. “Good batsmen provide lesser chances of catches and we drop them,” he said.

Afridi, however, lauded the Pakistani players saying this is the best we have got. “Babar Azam has been very consistent in his performance and I want him to become an even bigger player like Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith,” he said and added that Babar must prolong his runs accordingly like the Indian players.

Afridi said it is time our batsmen take some responsibility. “Cricket has become very different now and facing 25 to 30 balls is enough for a batsmen to settle down,” he said.

Lala, who had been awarded with the Pride of Performance in March 2010 and by Sitara-i-Imtiaz March 2018, said ODI tournaments are played lesser in our domestic season while four-day and twenty-20 games are more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.