I don't play to silence my critics, says Afridi after making 59 off 17 balls

Rituraj Borkakoty/Sharjah
Filed on December 1, 2018 | Last updated on December 1, 2018 at 08.31 pm
I dont play to silence my critics, says Afridi after making 59 off 17 balls
Shahid Afridi from Pakhtoons plays a shot during the match against Northern Warriors at Sharjah Cricket Stadium

(Photo by M. Sajjad)

I am playing because I am enjoying playing the game

After having played a match-winning innings (59 off 17 balls, 3 fours, 7 sixes) against Northern Warriors, Pakhtoons captain Shahid Afridi said he is not playing the game to silence his critics.

"I am not playing to silence my critics. I am playing because I am enjoying playing the game. I have played long enough at the top level for Pakistan. I am fit and I am enjoying the game even now," the former Pakistan captain said.

His stunning innings helped Pakhtoons at a time when they were struggling to post a big total in the Qualifier.

His knock eventually helped Pakhtoons reach 135/5 in 10 overs before their bowlers restricted the Warriors to 122/4, giving them a memorable 13-run win and a place in the final of the T10 League in Sharjah.

"There is no secret. It's just that I am doing my training well. As a cricketer, I have to be fit enough. Obviously the team expectation is always there. And as a captain I have to set some example as well," Afridi said.

"And we were playing against a very good team. So we had to perform well. I know we didn't start according to the plan. But still if the captain performs, it helps. And the crowd, they were waiting for a big innings from me as well. So I am very happy and very confident for the next game."

The 37-year-old Afridi says he is sharing his experience with young players in the T10 League.

"There are many talented players in the dressing room. It's my honour that I am leading them even at this age. If I keep playing like this and if the boys keep learning, it's great," he said.

"I think it's also great for this league that so many big names have come here and played a part in making this T10 a big success.

"The youngsters who want to play for their countries in future are getting a great chance to learn from these legends," he added.

Afridi then said the T10 format has Olympic potential.

"I think T10 is a format that we should definitely try to take it to the Olympics. Through this format, we can tell people in non-cricket playing countries what cricket is really about," he said.

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