Afridi pumped and ready for CPL return

After making his CPL debut back in 2015, world class all-rounder Shahid Afridi is highly anticipating his return to the “biggest party in sport”, come August.

Afridi shared a little of his expectations for the tournament, and what he plans to add to the mix of superstar players.

Back in 2015, Afridi was a part of the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots team, this time around, the all-rounder will join forces with the likes of Andre Russell, Ross Taylor and Rovman Powell in the Jamaica Tallawahs line-up.
Despite knocking 5 sixes out of the park in his debut year, Afridi is of the belief that he underperformed in 2015. “I think my first experience was not that good, because I didn’t perform well. But still I think it’s an honour for me to be part of CPL. I think that atmosphere is very good, and whenever I was there with the Pakistan team, I enjoyed. I think the islands are very beautiful. St. Lucia, where I played a few times for the Pakistan side, is one of my favourite places, so that’s why I love to play there. The atmosphere is very good; the people, they want to see us there as well,” he said.

Stating that he considers himself a bowling all-rounder, Afridi admitted that he is not always consistent with the bat. “I always consider myself as a bowling all-rounder. I think (that) in batting I’m not that consistent, but in bowling I am very consistent; and when I started my cricket, I started as a bowler. So I think I feel good, and if you look into my performance, I’m always very consistent with my bowling,” he explained.

As such, Afridi is expected to bring some attacking bowling to the Tallawahs side.

Aside from that, the former Pakistan player disclosed that he is excited to play, especially in the USA, a venue he has never played at before. “I heard that we are playing three games in America, and I have never played any game in America; but let’s see. I don’t know how is the ground, or how the pitch will behave, but I’m very excited to play in America,” he noted.

On a different note, Afridi is rallying for his former team, Pakistan, to participate in the World T20 on basis of their strong performance against Windies recently. This is something Afridi was delighted to see, and he was full of praise for Cricket West Indies for making it happen.

“I must thank the (West Indies) Cricket Board. I think they really support us, they really support our cricket. I think they really done a great job, especially all the players. Really, it’s a big thing for us, because we want to see cricket back in Pakistan, and I’m always thankful to them (for) the way they supported us,” Afridi explained.
The next big global T20 tournament will be the World T20, and Afridi thinks Pakistan are moving in the right direction. They have made it to the number one ranking in the format; have won nine successive T20I series; and have experience of success in ICC events, having won the Champions Trophy in England last summer.

“I think it’s still a long way to go, and I think the way our boys are playing is very good. All the youngsters, they’re doing a great job; and Inshallah, we’re hoping they’re going to do well for Pakistan,” Afridi declared.

Asked if he fancied having a go at playing in that tournament, he was unequivocal in his response. “No! Not at all! I’m done! I enjoyed my cricket for Pakistan, I’m playing just my league cricket, and I’m enjoying myself,” he said.

The Jamaica Tallawahs will be playing three matches in Florida this year, taking on Guyana Amazon Warriors, Trinbago Knight Riders and Barbados Tridents at the Central Broward Regional Stadium in Lauderhill on 18, 19 and 22 August.