‘Our grounds were used as wedding venues…that difficult period has passed’: Shahid Afridi on the state of Pakistan Cricket

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi believes the tough period for Pakistan cricket, where the country was unable to host matches, has passed away.

The 45-year-old was asked to share his thoughts on the change in scenario over the last couple of years to the national team’s performance after reaching the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup final on Samaa TV.

Afridi said, “That difficult period has passed. The teams started touring Pakistan. Australia came, England came. These were things our crowd was missing.”

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He further added, “Our grounds were used as wedding venues. It was a difficult period for Pakistan cricket, we were missing our crowd. The people who have worked to make this happen, have put in a lot of effort. The board, the government. They played an important role. We used to convince cricketers outside when we used to go and play in other leagues, county cricket, that through their help we’ll be able to bring (international) cricket back (in Pakistan). When cricket returned, a good message was sent from Pakistan, that we are sports loving nation and that we want to watch and play cricket here.”

Afridi, who won the 2009 T20 World Cup with Pakistan and was the player of the tournament in the 2007 edition of the competition, also said that in order to progress from the recent World Cup campaign, Babar Azam and co. didn’t need to make too many changes.

“We don’t need to do too much surgery, you have such senior coaches, mentors, you only need to focus on certain aspects,” he said.

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