Shahid Afridi revealed in an interview on Monday that Pakistan’s defeat to India in the semifinal of the 2011 World Cup was the biggest regret of his career.
“We came really close to winning that World Cup. Not winning it as a captain is regretful. I think it was Pakistan’s best ever performance in a World Cup in a very long time,” he said.
Afridi also said that he will personally talk to players like Chris Gayle to convince them to play in Pakistan.
Barring Zimbabwe’s visit in 2014, no country has toured Pakistan ever since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in March 2009.
“The law and order situation in Pakistan is much better now. I think international teams should visit Pakistan. People here love cricket and have been deprived of it for too long. Be it Sri Lanka or India, the Pakistan board has always sent a team to play in these countries irrespective of the situation there. PCB has always supported the other cricket boards.
“It is the responsibility of every international Pakistani cricketer, including mine, to try to bring back international cricket to Pakistan. I will talk individually to players like Chris Gayle to try and convince them to come to Pakistan. Even former players like Wasim Akram should try and talk to other cricketers and boards to convince them to send their teams here,” Afridi told Geo TV.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has informally invited the West Indies cricket team to visit Lahore in March to play two T20Is.
The all-rounder also criticised domestic wickets, calling them too flat.
“Obviously the wickets in places like Australia and New Zealand are fast and our slow, flat pitches don’t prepare the players for faster tracks. We need to prepare faster tracks at home. IF you play in conditions here, you can’t expect our team to beat Australia in Australia or New Zealand in New Zealand. In those conditions, even a draw is akin to a victory,” he said.
On being asked whether Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and veteran batsman Younis Khan should retire, he said: “They are both experienced players and have been the backbone of the team. They can decide for themselves whether to retire or continue playing.”