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Shahid Afridi eyes World Twenty20 trophy

02 January, 2014

KARACHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 will be the biggest event in the sport this year. Pakistan won the event four years ago and the team has a very good chance to reclaim the title in the forthcoming edition, according to former captain Shahid Afridi.

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In an interview with Our Sources, Pakistan's celebrated cricketer expressed content on the team's preparations for the March-April tournament scheduled to be held in Bangladesh.

Pakistan were impressive in T20s in 2013, securing eight victories from 12 matches, losing the remaining four.

"Our performance in T20s was satisfying," said the seasoned all-rounder. "The inclusion of several youngsters has strengthened our combination.

"Sohaib Maqsood is a great talent and is doing a good job in improving our middle-order batting. We also have good openers [Ahmed Shahzad and Sharjeel Khan]. Sharjeel is an important addition and he must avail the opportunity further.

"Pakistan's bowling attack also has depth. This combination makes us among the best teams in one-days and T20s and I feel we have bright chances in the World T20."

All-rounder calm over Bangladesh unrest

There have been question marks over Bangladesh as host for the World T20 amid anti-Pakistan sentiments in the country last month.

However, Afridi said that as a player he was not too concerned about the prevailing tension.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board is monitoring the situation and our subsequent participation in the tournament."

"The board will take the best decision, as a team we need to continue our preparations for the tournament."

‘Aim is to make useful contributions'

For the best part of 2013, the 33-year old struggled to find consistency in his performance. However, he showed signs of regaining form in the limited overs series against Sri Lanka, particularly with the bat, giving timely contributions for the team.

"I have gained a lot of confidence in batting, the tips from Mohammad Akram [bowling coach] helped me a lot in improving my batting.

"I am starting this year with a confident mindset and my aim is to make useful contributions for my team, specifically in the World T20."