Afridi forgets past bitterness to lead again Pakistan T20 team: By Rashid Ali Siddiqui

Karachi – Pakistan, September 16, 2014: The reinstated Pakistan Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi said that he would set aside past bitterness and lead the team with positive approach.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday appointed all-rounder Shahid Afridi as Twenty20 captain until the ICC World Twenty20 2016 to be held in India. However, Misbah-ul-Haq will continue to lead Pakistan in ODIs and Tests until the 2015 World Cup.

“Leaving behind, what has happened in the past as some petty issues happened and I have started a new journey with the same management that was in 2011 when I was captain,” said Afridi while addressing media here on Tuesday.

It may be recalled that Afridi had developed strained relations with the then head coach Waqar Younis during the ICC World Cup 2011 as a result he was removed from the captaincy. Now, again Waqar Younis has the responsibilities of Head Coach. He was of the view that he led the team in difficult times in 2011 and improved the dressing room’s atmosphere by bringing the team in a good position. “In my opinion, the situation is much better now and same team management is working, so I’ll have no problem in adjusting with the role given to me again,” he maintained.

Afridi further said that there is a need to remove the fear of failure from the players’ mind. They should not need to heed what media and people are commenting on their performance. “They should concentrate on their performance as pressure is different in international cricket,” he added.

He said that at the moment he would focus in only T20 match against Australia to be played on 5th October this year in Dubai and then against New Zealand, then he would plan for T20 World Cup 2016 that is far away.

Afridi got the place of sacked Mohammad Hafeez, who was removed after Pakistan team’s pathetic performance in this year’s T20 World Cup.

Hafeez has good record having captained Pakistan in 29 T20s winning 17 and losing 11 while one match was tied. On the other hand, Shahid Afridi has good captaincy record in ODI format but not impressive record in T20 internationals. He led Pakistan in 34 ODIs winning 18, losing 15 whereas one match ended in no result. However, in T20 games Afridi’s captaincy record is not very impressive and in 19 T20 games he led Pakistan won only 8 and lost 11.

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