T20 World Cup: Shahid Afridi draws interesting comparison between Super Bowl, PAK vs IND clash - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

T20 World Cup: Shahid Afridi draws interesting comparison between Super Bowl, PAK vs IND clash


Afridi drew the comparison to help the Americans understand the extent of the clash. - AFP/ICC

Shahid Afridi compared the National Football League (NFL) final (the Super Bowl) and the decades-long rivalry of Pakistan and India in a column he wrote for the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Afridi drew the comparison to help the Americans understand the extent of the clash, “For those Americans discovering the tournament, they should know that Pakistan’s game against India is like our Super Bowl,”

“People are going to love the support in the States. There is a great expat community over there which absolutely loves cricket.

“And the Americans absolutely love their sport, whether it is American football, basketball or baseball. I really believe that cricket will hit the mainstream over there in the next few years, which is very exciting for up-and-coming cricketers.”

Reminiscing the days when Afridi used to play cricket and played against India, he called it the biggest cricket rivalry.

“I used to absolutely love playing India and I really believe it is the biggest rivalry in sport. When I played in those games, I got a lot of love and respect from the Indian fans and it means so much to both sides.”

Afridi also applauded the Pakistani team for their recent stints in the T20 World Cups.

“Pakistan have shown in recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cups that they are capable of challenging anyone,” Afridi said. “Even though their form has been inconsistent in 2024, I believe they have all the ingredients to put it all together in the West Indies and USA.”

The team has reached the semi-final of the 2021 edition and semi-final of the 2022 edition, though they lost both of the games and returned home empty-handed.

“Over the last two ICC Men’s T20 World Cups, they have made one final and one semi-final and there is no question of the talent in the squad. The conditions in the Caribbean will definitely suit them,” said Afridi.

Talking about Pakistan’s poor performance in their recent series in his column, Afridi stated that, “Part of the reason the results have been a bit up and down [for Pakistan] is that the selectors have been testing youngsters and giving them an opportunity to showcase their talent.”

Pakistan had hosted New Zealand for a five-match T20I series (it resulted in a 2-2 tie with the first match abandoned due to rain), the team then toured Ireland where they lost the first of the three T20I (they won the series by 2-1) and then they toured England for a four-match T20I series (they lost that series by 2-0 with the first and third match washed out due to rain).

He thinks it was important to give the players opportunities and for the team and management to realize their best playing combination going into the event.

“It was important to settle on the best combination for the World Cup. Once they get there, I am expecting them to target the powerplay, keeping the strike rate high, before building up until the 14th over. From there, the finish will be the key.”

Pakistan will begin their T20 World Cup journey on Thursday, June 6 against the first-timer hosts USA. The team will then clash with India in the most anticipated match of the event at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on June 9.

India’s head coach had called the venue muddy and sandy after India’s warm-up game against Bangladesh. He also suspected injuries due to the nature of the ground.

Pakistan’s squad for T20 World Cup 2024:

Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Azam Khan (wk), Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Abrar Ahmed.

Pakistan’s schedule for T20 World Cup 2024:

6 June 2024 – Pakistan v USA, Dallas.

9 June 2024 – Pakistan v India, New York.

11 June 2024 – Pakistan v Canada, New York.

16 June 2024 – Pakistan v Ireland, Florida.

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