SHARJAH - Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi wants to play the final of the third Pakistan Super League as it will be held in his adopted hometown, Karachi, on March 25.

"I am playing for Karachi Kings for the first time in the PSL and it is my ambition to see us playing in the final on 25 March as it is being held in Karachi for the first time," Afridi said.

Karachi Kings players and staff also celebrated Afridi’s birthday after a practice session in the ground by cutting a cake.

Afridi, who turned 38 on Thursday, also rubbished speculations about him making a comeback to international cricket.

"My decision to retire is final. I am now enjoying myself playing in these T20 leagues and doing my foundation work," Afridi said in an interview. "I am playing for Karachi Kings for the first time in the PSL and it is my ambition to see us playing in the final on March 25 as it is being held in Karachi for the first time," Afridi said.

The all-rounder announced his retirement from international cricket last year in rather acrimonious circumstances after differences with the cricket board over a planned farewell match for him.

But Afridi said he was past that episode now. "A cricketer can ask for nothing more. My fans still enjoy my performances and I love that and continue to play for them," he said.

Afridi who produced a virtuoso bowling performance against arch-rivals Lahore in the PSL on Monday and also emulated many Pakistani fielders by taking a shocking catch in the first match of the season for his team, said he wanted to carry on playing in leagues till he was fit and performing. "It is also important for me to carry on playing cricket for my foundation work."

Afridi also praised the work of the head coach of the Karachi Kings and Pakistan team, Mickey Arthur.

"He is very emotional and aggressive minded so he gets worried easily. But he knows how to make a game plan and he is not afraid of losing. He is working on long-term planning for Pakistan cricket which is good," Afridi said. "The best part is he wants 100 percent from every player and such coaches are good for any team."

Afridi commended the captaincy of Karachi Kings’ skipper Imad Wasim, by saying that he consults with the team whenever he faces any challenge during the game. “He doesn’t take all decisions by himself, he listens, he is taking everyone along, there were two-three times when the pressure was on him but he remained relax,” the all-rounder said.

Afridi appealed cricket fans living in the United Arab Emirates to enjoy Pakistan Super League by visiting stadiums. “I believe the first two seasons were very good, in this season so far fans turn out is a bit low,” he said, “there should have been more marketing for PSL to get more crowd in the ground. I request fans to come in the stadium and enjoy cricket.”

He expressed his hope that the crowd will come in a throng from the matches being played at Sharjah till the final.

Interestingly, while responding to a question, Afridi shared his observation that he has not yet seen any special talent from the young, emerging players in this edition of the PSL. “One of the main reasons behind PSL is to bring out new talent. Boys who don’t get the opportunity to showcase their potential in the domestic setup join franchises to show their talent, but I have not seen any special talent up till now.”

Afridi expressed his hope that three, four youngsters playing in the PSL joins the national team like Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and Fakhar Zaman.

Karachi Kings will be playing their next match against Multan Sultans today (Friday).