Afridi warns World Cup teams not to underestimate Pakistan

Posted By: Pti

Dhaka, Feb 12 (PTI) Pakistan cricket captain ShahidAfridi today issued a warning to the other World Cup teams,saying that none should underestimate his side as his playerswere "focussed and united" under his leadership.

"They feel hungry to win a big event and want to playgood cricket," Afridi told reporters here.

Stating that a fruitful tour of New Zealand had bolsteredthe side''s morale, Afridi said Pakistan have left thespot-fixing scandal behind and are now eager to rebuild theteam.

"I think we''re really going through a very toughsituation. But I am very happy because we are trying torebuild the team and keep the morale high," said Afridi,admitting that Pakistan team was severely jolted by thespot-fixing scandal.

Three players -- former captain Salman Butt and pacersMohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer -- were banned for five yearsby the International Cricket Council for their allegedinvolvement in spot-fixing, which ruled them out of the WorldCup, and they now also face criminal proceedings in England.

But Afridi assured that the team was now completelyfocussing on the upcoming sporting extravaganza, starting fromFebruary 19 in Dhaka, as the country''s prestige is at stake.

"I am confident the team is in very good shape now. Weall know how important the World Cup is for us and for ourcountry. The message for other teams is that no one shouldunderestimate us."

Confident of doing well in the mega-event, Afridi saidhis team was a right mix of youth and experience.

"We have a very good bunch of youngsters and someexperienced players. It is good to see Kamran Akmal back inthe team. Misbah-ul Haq is in good form and Younis Khan isalso batting well.

"I am also very happy with our bowling. We have twogenuine spinners and some good fast bowlers, especially ShoaibAkhtar," said Afridi. .

Story first published: Saturday, February 12, 2011, 15:15 [IST]
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