Beating England on home soil will be a tough task: Afridi

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 14 (APP): Former Twenty 20 skipper Shahid Afridi believes beating England on their home soil would be a tough task for Pakistan but even a drawn series will be a big achievement.

Pakistan’s next assignment is a full tour of the United Kingdom where they will play four Tests, five one-day internationals and a T20. In addition to that there will be two ODIs against Ireland in Dublin. The tour starts with a Test match at Lord’s from July 14.

Afridi who stepped down after Pakistan’s dismal performance in the World Twenty20 and Asia Cup this year but changed his decision to retire from T20 said beating England on their home turf will be a herculean task for Pakistan, with even a drawn series a rewarding result.

“To beat England in their conditions is a huge achievement,” he told cricket.com.au.

He said the amount of domestic cricket they (English players) play is massive and that is the reason their batsmen and bowlers are so familiar with the pitches in the country. “These factors will favour England in the coming series,” he said.

“Even if Pakistan manages to draw the series I think it will be a big achievement. Pakistan’s Test team however is very stable and has done well lately in the subcontinent but to win in England the players will have to put in hard yards,” he said.

Afridi said he has also spoken with the chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and told him that it is good to have youngsters in the team but in case he (Inzamam) needs me I will be available.

“I am very focused on cricket and want to continue it. I am looking after myself very well and working hard on my fitness. I still feel that I can play for the next couple of years whether it is for Pakistan or PSL (Pakistan Super League), Big Bash or England (domestic) T20s,” he said.

Afridi also hinted at a change of franchise for the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in February 2017, having played this year’s tournament with Peshawar Zalmi, who had traded a pick with Islamabad United in the league’s draft in a bid to get him in the team.

He was one of the five marquee players and very first pick in the draft.
“I am a professional cricketer and whichever franchise needs me I am available for it. It is not that I am confined to Peshawar Zalmi only,” he said.

“No doubt that my current team is Zalmi but before moving forward I need to sort out some things with Javed Afridi (owner and chairman of Peshawar Zalmi),” he said.