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Afridi urges fans to back Pak team

cricket Updated: May 19, 2010 16:09 IST

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Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Wednesday urged fans to back the team after the defending champions' semi-final finish in the World Twenty20, saying public support would spur the squad on.

"I am proud of the team, which played as a unit," said Afridi, who led Pakistan in the competition won by England.

"I would request fans to support us because we have seen difficult times in cricket and only unity can help us," said Afridi upon the team's return from the West Indies.

Australia, set a daunting 192 to win the semi-final in St. Lucia on Friday, snatched an improbable win courtesy of a superb 24-ball 60 by Michael Hussey, who hit 18 in the final over bowled by Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal.

"We didn't do well in initial matches but were back in rhythm with our Super Eight win against South Africa and that's why the semi-final defeat hurt us," Afridi told reporters.

"Had we won against Australia and lost the final it would have been acceptable.

"But I am satisfied with the overall performance of the team and whoever becomes captain the most important thing should be unity of the team and the support of the fans," said Afridi, captain only of the Twenty20 side.

He backed off-spinner Ajmal.