Shahid Afridi is of the opinion that Pakistan can once again win the T20 World Cup after 2009 and belives that the nation have the talent, approach and aggression required for the T20 format. The all-rounder also said that the shorter format of the game suits the character of the team.
ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is all set to start from October 17. Pakistan will play their opening fixture against India on October 24 and are grouped together with India, New Zealand and Afghanistan in the Super 12 stage of the tournament. The match between the arch-rivals will be played in Dubai. Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi is of the opinion that Pakistan can win the trophy this time as they have the talent, approach, and aggression required for the shorter format of the sport.
"T20 suits our character. We have the talent, approach and aggression required for this rapid format. It is a format which is loved throughout Pakistan. We won against every team and then every team adopted that style. Bowling is now full of variety and new batting techniques have developed. The current Pakistan team is very talented although they lack experienced players. But, as we all know, never underestimate a Pakistan team!" Afridi told AFP.
Afridi was the part of the Pakistan T20 squad in 2007 when they were the runners-up of the tournament. Afridi picked 12 wickets and earned the Player of the Tournament award. In that edition, the team lost the two matches they played against India including the closely contested final. Summing up the team's journey in the inaugural T20 World Cup, Afridi said that Pakistan provided best entertainment in the tournament and also they lost the final with a very close margin.
"Pakistan gave the best entertainment in the first T20 World Cup. We lost to India in the group match after a bowl-out, which was something very new for us. Misbah brought Pakistan into the game but then we lost by barest of margins," he stated.
The best moment for Pakistan in the T20 format was their victory in 2009 T20 World Cup. Afridi played a crucial role in the tournament scoring 176 runs and bagging 11 wickets in the competition. Also, the victory was more significant as it came three months after the terror attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore which resulted in international cricket not being played in Pakistan over the years. Sharing his views on the 2009 T20 World Cup victory, Afridi said that the win by the team gave the whole nation some unforgettable moments.
"We had that issue of the Sri Lanka attacks on our mind. The whole nation was disappointed and frustrated so that win was very much needed. The win gave the whole nation happiness and some unforgettable moments,” he sated.