Pakistan to be one of top three teams by 2019 WC: Afridi

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 19 (APP): Former Twenty Skipper Shahid Afridi
believes Pakistan has the ability to develop into one of the top
three teams by the time the 2019 World Cup to be played in England.
Pakistan thumped defending champions India by 180 runs to
clinch their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title on Sunday.
“This squad is built around exciting young talent and has an
astute and passionate leader in Sarfraz,” wrote Afridi in a column
for the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Afridi said the teams that might have taken Pakistan lightly
in CT would never dare to repeat such a mistake again and whatever
the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup may be like; Pakistan will be a
serious contender for the trophy,” he said.
He said Champions Trophy has been a memorable event and
Pakistani fans will remember it for a very long time indeed. “The
fans, especially youngsters, who saw the team dethrone India, will
be inspired to replicate the performances of their heroes in the
years to come,” he said.
The flamboyant cricketer, nicknamed ‘Boom Boom, further
insisted that just like the 1992 World Cup win gave Pakistan a new
generation of match winners, this Champions Trophy victory will also
put the country’s cricket back on track.
“The 1992 World Cup win gave us a new generation of match
winners and this win ranks very close to that, I am confident that
Pakistan cricket is back on track and we will see this team reach
some incredible highs in the years to come, especially if the team
continues to play with the kind of passion and commitment displayed
in this tournament,” Afridi said.
He said this is one victory that Pakistan fans will remember
for long. “The turnaround has left the world bewildered and has
brought a wave of ecstasy and unbridled joy for Pakistanis all
around the world.”
“As soon as the game ended, celebrations mirroring the 1992
World Cup and 2009 World T20 wins began across the country,” he
added.
“Sarfraz Ahmed-led side deserves to celebrate well beyond the
Eid festival next week as the players richly deserve their victory,”
he said.