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Afridi asks teammates to give their best

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has urged his players to stand up and perform in the World Cup after a disappointing defeat against England in their warm-up match.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2011 10:32 IST

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has urged his players to stand up and perform in the World Cup after a disappointing defeat against England in their warm-up match.

"This is not the first time we are saying sorry for our performance. All of us as a team now have to perform and give our best in the World Cup," Afridi told Geo News channel in Mirpur, Dhaka.

Afridi, who did not play in the Pakistan-England warm-up tie on Friday, said it was imperative for the senior players to perform so that the youngsters could also seek inspiration from them.

"The senior players including myself have a very important role to play in this World Cup. We must show the way to the youngsters who are playing in the tournament for the first time," he said.

"What is clear is that everyone has to now perform and play responsibly if the team is to do well in this World Cup. There is no time now to experiment."

Afridi informed that the team management had more or less decided upon their first playing combination for the World Cup.

"The combination is set and now we are just paying a lot of attention to the fitness levels of the players. Which is going to play a crucial role in this World Cup because of the weather conditions and the pitches."

Stating that the players were completely focussed, the experienced allrounder said that the team was ready for all the challenges.

"It is a good sign that the players are concentrating hard on the tournament and everyone wants to do well. It is important for us to make an early impact in this competition and get the momentum going."

Meanwhile, Pakistan cricket team manager Intikhab Alam played down the fines imposed on pacers -- Wahab Riaz and Shoaib Akhtar -- for returning late from a private dinner.

"There is good discipline in the team and we have made ourselves clear to the players. Discipline is a must. I am happy that the players themselves realise this," he said.

Intikhab also played down the selection of Pakistani players for dope tests, insisting this was the prerogative of the ICC anti-doping committee.

"It is a routine matter and not too much should be read into it. The ICC can pick any player randomly from any team for the dope tests," he said.