TAUNTON: The World Cup provides youngsters an opportunity to become stars overnight, and Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi is well aware of this.
The 19-year old pacer got the limelight in the U19 World Cup last year, and this year, he is part of Pakistan’s World Cup squad.
“I want to leave an impact in this World Cup. If I get the chance to play, I will try to do my best,” he said.
“I am also learning a lot here. It’s a big platform and there is a big pressure. My previous series wasn’t good but I am working hard in the nets and bowling coach Ajju bhai (Azhar Mahmood) is helping me a lot here.”
Afridi conceded 51 runs in 6 wicket-less overs during Pakistan’s warm-up game against Afghanistan and has yet to make his World Cup debut.
The teenager, however, remains in high spirits and is looking forward to do well whenever he gets the chance.
Pakistan next plays Australia at Taunton on Wednesday and, if included in the playing XI, Shaheen aims to get an early breakthrough for the team.
“Warner and Smith have made their team stronger and if given a chance, I will try to get an early breakthrough for my team. Finch’s wicket will be crucial for us. For a team like Australia, it is important that we get their openers out at the earliest. The same goes for India,” he said.
“We are well prepared and players are highly motivated and looking forward to the matches,” Afridi added.
The fast bowler, who represents Lahore Qalandars in Pakistan Super League, said that Pakistani fans are mad about the game and that’s why their reaction is inevitable when the team doesn’t do well. According to him, Pakistani players understand that and respect the fans’ emotions.
“Fans are fans, they’re mad about this game. We just try not to let them down whenever we enter the field.”