Afridi for extra effort on Eng tour
Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi, on Saturday, asked his players for extra effort on the tour of England as the squad left for London from Sri Lanka.cricket Updated: Jun 26, 2010 15:21 IST
Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi, on Saturday, asked his players for extra effort on the tour of England as the squad left for London from Sri Lanka.
"It's a challenging tour because we will face Australia and England," Afridi told AFP from Colombo. "I have told every player to give extra effort and take every opportunity that comes our way because both rivals are strong."
Pakistan open the tour with a limited overs match against MCC on June 28 before taking on Australia in two Twenty20 internationals on July 5 and 6 in Birmingham.
They then will play Ricky Ponting's men in the first of two Tests at Lord's from July 13 in a series moved out of Pakistan after Australia refused to tour over security fears.
Pakistan will also play four Tests, two Twenty20s and five one-dayers against hosts England on the tour which ends on September 22.
Afridi, who was appointed captain last month following Pakistan's disastrous tour of Australia, said coping with pressure will be the key.
"Australia is a great side, but the key will be not to take extra pressure and do every effort until the last ball of the match," said Afridi, who said he was happy with his team's Asia Cup performance despite losing to Sri Lanka and India.
"I am satisfied with team's performance because we fought hard in both the matches and showed that if we put extra effort we can beat the best sides," said Afridi, who smashed centuries against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
India beat Sri Lanka to win the Asia Cup on Thursday.
"We lost both the matches because of poor finishing so this is one area where we have to work and then better results will come," the big-hitting all-rounder said.
Afridi said England has progressed well in the last year and will prove equally challenging. "No doubt, England have shown remarkable improvement and the way they are playing in the one-day series against Australia, they are a united team and will be very tough to beat on their grounds," he said.
"But the boys know their responsibility and are eager to show their talent," said Afridi, who admitted that he will miss senior batsman Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf on the tour.
"Definitely both Younis and Yousuf will be missed because they are senior players but we have some exciting youngsters who will take their chances and grow in confidence with time," said Afridi.
Younis and Yousuf were banned indefinitely in March following an investigation into the Australia tour, where Pakistan lost all three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20.
The Pakistan Cricket Board did not give clearance for Younus's selection despite his ban being overturned earlier this month. Yousuf retired from cricket in protest over the sanction.