Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has expressed high hopes for the bright picture of the Afghanistan cricket in the future, saying he is ready to play in the country if the need arises in the future in a bid to support the growth of Afghanistan cricket.
The all-rounder great is highly impressed by the quality of cricket that Afghanistan has, claiming that there is a lot of talent, only they need attention and nurture to showcase their talent to the world.
Afridi, who was one of the four iconic players during the inaugural season Afghanistan Premier League (APL), which concluded last week with the Blakh Legends emerged victorious, said playing in the tournament was one of the best experiences of his career.
He also lauded Afghanistan Cricket Board for their great initiative to establish the T20 tournament in the country to offer a great opportunity, especially to the youngsters to showcase their talent and get noticed by playing here.
The legendary all-rounder further went on to suggest the ACB to keep on growing the cricket facilities in Afghanistan and look after the talented youngsters to secure the future of the sport in the country.
Afridi told media, “This tournament has been a great case for the cause of cricket in Afghanistan but they now need to continue their progression from here. The ACB [Afghanistan Cricket Board] has to take up a fatherly role and look after these talented youngsters to secure the future of the sport in Afghanistan. Perhaps, they should pay more attention to the marketing of the event so that they can get more crowds to come and watch. They can concentrate on these aspects for the next edition, this is the way forward for the Afghanistan cricket.”
He further added, “The ACB needs to keep on growing the cricket facilities in Afghanistan. I don’t know all their names, but there are some top-class youngsters coming through. They need to be kept motivated while teaching them to handle the pressure of playing at the highest stage.”
On his experience at APL, he added, “This tournament has been one of the best experiences for me as I had the opportunity to share the dressing rooms with some of the most talented youngsters in Afghanistan. I believe some of these young cricketers are already in a position to play for their national team. Much of the credit has to go to the ACB as they have done well in putting this competition together. I thank the board for having me as one of the icon players. This has been a great opportunity, especially for the youngsters to showcase their talent and get noticed.”
Afridi signed off by saying, “In the past, I was not lucky to be in Afghanistan as I had to cancel a trip there due to personal reasons. But in the future, I want to support the growth of Afghan cricket and I will be willing to even go and play in Afghanistan if the need arises.”
(Input: Gulf News)