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Will try to convince international cricketers to tour Pakistan, says Afridi

KARACHI: Former captain Shahid Afridi has said he will try his best to convince international cricketers to tour Pakistan.

In an exclusive interview with the Agency, Afridi, who is in action today for his domestic departmental team HBL in the tournament final against Sui Southern Gas Company in Karachi, said he considers it his responsibility to try to revive international cricket in the country.

“It is the responsibility of every international Pakistani cricketer, including mine, to try to bring back international cricket to Pakistan,” said Afridi.

“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,” the flamboyant all-rounder continued, adding that it is a good sign the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has invited West Indies for a T20 series in Pakistan.

According to Afridi, Test captain Misbah and veteran batsman Younis Khan can make their own decisions about retirement and do not need advice from anyone.

“They are both experienced players and the backbone of the team. They can decide for themselves whether to retire or continue playing,” the former captain said.

Commenting on the domestic wickets, Afridi said they are too flat and do not prepare the players for ‘real-world’ pitches abroad.

“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.”

Asked if he had any regrets in his prolific career, Afridi said it was not winning the 2011 World Cup as captain.

“We came very 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.

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