Having made a fantastic return to form against Northern Warriors in the second edition of the T10 league in Sharjah, Shahid Afridi has said that he wasn't perturbed by the widespread criticism that came his way preceding this innings and has never played the beloved sport to prove people wrong.
The explosive batsman rolled back the years as he lit up the historic Sharjah Cricket Ground with an amazing knock of 59 off just 17 balls against Northern Warriors, during second edition of the T10 league.
The 38-year-old's scintillating act helped Pakhtoons reach 135/5 in 10 overs before their bowlers restricted the Warriors to 122/4, giving them a memorable 13-run win and a place in the final of the competition in UAE.
"I am not playing to silence my critics. I am playing because I am enjoying playing the game. I have played long enough at the top level for Pakistan. I am fit and I am enjoying the game even now," the ex-Pakistani all rounder said afterwards, "There is no secret. It's just that I am doing my training well. As a cricketer, I have to be fit enough. Obviously, the team expectation is always there. And as a captain, I have to set some example as well."
"And we were playing against a very good team. So we had to perform well. I know we didn't start according to the plan."
"But still, if the captain performs, it helps. And the crowd, they were waiting for a big innings from me as well. So I am very happy and very confident for the next game," he added.
Afridi also shared how he is helping the youngsters around him flourish by guiding them through the task, and said, "There are many talented players in the dressing room. It's my honour that I am leading them even at this age. If I keep playing like this and if the boys keep learning, it's great."
"I think it's also great for this league that so many big names have come here and played a part in making this T10 a big success," he concluded.
(Inputs from Khaleej Times)