Afridi Can Turn it Around for Pakistan in World Cup, Says Imran

New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) Cricket legend Imran Khan said Thursday that maverick all-rounder Shahid Afridi is the best man, who can pull Pakistan out from the depths of despair to the glory of winning the World Cup.

"Pakistan cricket is in a mess and in this situation Afridi is the best man to lead the team. He is unpredictable, but a small cameo of his in 10 overs can turn the match in Pakistan's favour. If anybody can pull out Pakistan cricket from this mess, it has to be Afridi," he said.

Imran, Pakistan's World Cup winning captain, feels that his country faces its biggest challenge after Salman Butt, Mohammed Aamer and Mohammad Asif were found allegedly involved in spot fixing in England series.

"Today my country faces the biggest challenge in international cricket. Sadly, the patron of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is our president (Asif Ali Zardari). The less I talk about him, it is better as I don't want to talk about politics," the 58-year-old cricketer turned politician told reporters here.

Asked if he wants to get into cricket administration, Imran said: " My philosophy of life is that I don't look in the past. My cricket chapter closed after I led Pakistan to win the 1992 World Cup. I don't want to get into cricket administration and think about match-fixing, I have a bigger responsibility and that is of fixing my country."

Imran said he is concerned about the future of young fast bowlers Aamer and Asif, who are staring at possible life bans from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"I am specially concerned about the future of the two young fast bowlers. Asif and Aamer are the best opening pair in the world and I can certainly tell that Aamer is the most exciting talent in international cricket. I saw Wasim (Akram) at the age of 18 and I also saw Aamer, who is now 18 and I can tell you that Aamer at this stage is better than Wasim. If Aamer and Asif are a part of the team, then Pakistan has a chance," he said.

Imran also said that he is in favour of Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), that will be used in the World Cup from the knock-out stages.

"I think this the best thing to happen in international cricket. I wish we had this system during our playing days," he said.


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Title: Afridi Can Turn it Around for Pakistan in World Cup, Says Imran

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