Pakistan to summon spirit of 2009 for T20 World Cup title: Shahid Afridi | Cricket News


KARACHI: Shahid afridi, the box office pioneer of Pakistan cue ball cricket, believes his ‘unpredictable’ nation can summon the spirit of 2009 and win a second T20 World Cup.
Afridi was man of the match in a thrilling seven-run semi-final over South Africa in the tournament 12 years ago, where he scored 51.
He then again starred in the eight-wicket defeat of Sri Lanka in the final at Lord’s, where he broke an undefeated 54.
Pakistan’s victory came just three months after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, an incident that led to the shutdown of international cricket in the country.
“We had the issue of the Sri Lankan attacks on our minds,” Afridi told AFP.
“The entire nation was disappointed and frustrated, so victory was sorely needed.
“The victory gave the entire nation happiness and some unforgettable moments.”
Afridi burst onto the scene in 1996 when he broke the record for the fastest century in ODI cricket, hitting his one hundred out of 37 balls.
It was a record that stood until 2014.
Afridi, who played 99 T20 Internationals for Pakistan, believes recent setbacks may inspire again Babar Azamteam in the masterpiece of Q20 2021.
One month before the mega event, head coach Misbah-ul-haq and bowling coach Waqar younis resigned, apparently believing new chairman of the board Ramiz Raja I would fire them anyway.
New Zealand then abandoned their tour of the country just minutes before the first ODI in Rawalpindi.
Three days later, England also withdrew their men’s and women’s teams from visiting Pakistan.
“This is Pakistani cricket for you, never a dull day,” Afridi added regretfully.
“Pakistan can surprise any team in the world. Dispose of them at your own risk.”
In her 22-year international career, Afridi was at the heart of Pakistan’s “upside down” in limited-overs cricket.
Afridi anchored Pakistan’s run to the final at the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, taking 12 wickets that earned him the player of the tournament award.
Pakistan, however, lost twice to archrival India, including in the final.
“Pakistan provided the best entertainment in the first T20 World Cup,” insists Afridi.
“We lost to India in the group game after bowling, which was something very new for us.”
Pakistan then lost the final with Misbah-ul-Haq falling within a reckless shot of the third ball of the final, with only six needed for victory.
Misbah He brought Pakistan into the game, but then we lost by the slightest margin, “said Afridi.
Below Afridi, defending champion Pakistan then lost in the semi-final of the 2010 edition in the Caribbean when Michael hussey he hit 39 runs in the final two overs to give Australia an unlikely victory.
“T20 suits our character,” Afridi added. “We have the talent, focus and aggressiveness required for this fast format.
“It’s a format that is loved across Pakistan. We won against all the teams and then all the teams adopted that style.
“Bowling is now full of variety and new hitting techniques have been developed.”
Afridi insists that Pakistan can again deliver some surprises in the UAE.
“The current Pakistan team is very talented although it lacks experienced players. But, as we all know, never underestimate a Pakistani team!”

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