Afridi wants respect
Shahid Afridi is determined to salvage some pride for Pakistan cricket - by beating England at least once in the NatWest Series.
The next chance for Afridi’s 50-over team will come tomorrow at Headingley Carnegie, where victory would level the score at 1-1 with three to play.
Pakistan’s limited-overs captain is already encouraged by a much-improved performance, albeit in defeat, yesterday at the Emirates Durham ICG.
There, Pakistan lost by 24 runs - a dignified margin following Twenty20 trouncings in Cardiff.
The onus is on Afridi and his team-mates to respond with the type of cricket which will make his country proud again.
“We are good cricketers and want to maintain our respect, and that is gained by playing good cricket,” he said. “After a victory, the respect will come again.”
It will be a major achievement if Pakistan can beat an increasingly efficient England team.
“Yesterday the performance was much better - not 100%, but I was quite happy with the efforts from the boys, and that’s what I’m expecting in the next game as well,” Afridi said.
“We all know how important this series is for our team and our country.
“The boys are doing their level best - and as captain, all I want to see is effort from them. If you give 100% you will get good results.”
Pakistan are hoping all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who has been suffering with a back injury, is fit tomorrow - along with 7ft tall seamer Mohammad Irfan, troubled by cramp in his leg on his debut yesterday.
With or without them, Afridi still believes they will remain competitive.
“I’m still very confident that my team can win against any team in the world,” he said.
“We all want to go home with respect. We want to play some good cricket and get some victories.”