TAUNTON: The ICC Cricket World Cup provides youngsters an opportunity to become stars overnight and Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi is well aware of this chance.
The 19-year-old pacer got the limelight in the Under-19 World Cup last year, but this year, he is part of Pakistan’s campaign for the Cricket World Cup.
“I want to leave an impact in this World Cup. If a chance is given to me, I will try to give my best for the team,” he said.
“I am also learning a lot here. It is a big platform and with 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,” he said.
Afridi conceded 51 runs in six wicket-less overs during Pakistan’s warm-up game against Afghanistan and has yet to make his World Cup debut.
He, however, has his spirits high and is looking forward to do well whenever he gets an opportunity.
Pakistan play Australia next at Taunton on Wednesday and, if included in the playing XI, Shaheen aims to get early breakthroughs for the team.
“Warner and Smith have made their team stronger. If given a chance, I will try to get early breakthroughs. Finch’s wicket will be crucial for us. Against a team like Australia, it is important that we get their openers out at the earliest. Same is against India,” he said.
“We are well prepared and the players are highly motivated and looking forward to the tournament,” Afridi added.
The young fast bowler, who represents Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), said Pakistani fans are mad about the game and that is why they react when the team is unable to do well. According to him, Pakistani players understand and respect the feeling of the fans.
“Fans are fans. They’re mad about this game. We just try not to let down the fans every time we enter the field,” he said.