Lahore: Pakistan's national T20 captain Shahid Afridi has said that he is not worried with his recent form in limited overs cricket and playing the first series against a Test side on Pakistani soil in six years would lift his game.
"I don't worry about form because it happens with every player, the main thing is that I am looking ahead and I am confident I can contribute to the team," the flamboyant all-rounder said.
Afridi spent the entire Thursday interacting with the media on television or otherwise including a pre match press conference at the Gaddafi stadium where the trophy for the series against Zimbabwe was also unveiled.
The first T20 match of the series is to be played on Friday followed by the second match on Sunday. Zimbabwe will also play three ODIs in Lahore.
"It is gratifying that international cricket is finally returning to Pakistan and I hope other teams also follow Zimbabwe's example and tour our country," he said.
Afridi appreciated the courage and spirit of the touring side saying they deserved kudos for undertaking the tour despite so much pressure.
Afridi also spoke about the national T20 squad and insisted that Pakistan had plenty of talent.
"There is good talent in Pakistan and the selectors have announced a strong squad for this series. I don't want to interfere in work of selection committee but I have given them my suggestions. My aim is that three months before the next T20 World Cup our combination should be final and no more experimentations," he said.
"It is my ambition that I retire from all international cricket after winning the T20 World Cup in India and my aim is to prepare a strong side for that event."
Afridi also spoke about his plans to have the national T20 squad play a series of matches against regional association sides in a bid to give more exposure to young talent.
"I would also like to see Pakistan board give more attention to domestic cricket and streamline it. At the moment they are times when one week before a tournament we are told about it. We need to give more importance to our domestic cricket and its scheduling," he added.
The all-rounder also supported the comeback of senior players Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Sami.
"They have done a lot for Pakistan in the past and they are quite young to be called old players. They have been selected on the basis of their performance."
He also felt that Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad represented a lot of talent but now needed to show this on the field.
About the assertion by the team management that both had attitude problems, Afridi said he would not like to go into details but as their captain he had never faced any issues and insisted it was job of management to manage players.
Afridi also didn't agree that the career of champion off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was over.
"I don't think so. He is too good a player and he now has to prove to himself."...