Shaheen sets sights on T20 World Cup win, quashes team discord rumors

LAHORE  -  Pakistan’s pace sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi has voiced his resolute ambition to clinch the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 trophy, aiming to rectify the missed opportunities of the previous editions.

Shaheen, a pivotal figure in Pakistan’s journey to the semifinal and final in the 2021 and 2022 World Cups respectively, conveyed his aspirations during a recent appearance on the PCB Podcast. Addressing speculations, the 24-year-old debunked any notion of disharmony within the team, likening occasional disagreements to familial dynamics. “Sometimes, small disagreements happen in every family, even among brothers. But there’s nothing like that in our team,” he affirmed.

With a commendable track record spanning 146 international matches since his debut in April 2018, Afridi has shifted his focus to the imminent four-T20I series against England, slated from May 22-30, followed by the prestigious ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled in the United States and the Caribbean from June 1-29. “Our aim is to play with unity, and this is not the time for arguments or disputes; it’s the time for everyone to be on the same page,” he emphasized.

Shaheen’s recent standout performance against Ireland, where he clinched seven wickets, underscored his significance as a premier bowler. During the second T20I clash on Sunday, he achieved the milestone of 300 wickets in international cricket, joining an elite group of Pakistan bowlers including legends like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shahid Afridi.

Reflecting on his form and fitness, the determined pacer affirmed his readiness to hoist the coveted trophy for Pakistan. “Mood is also good and fitness is also good. I am ready and hopeful that we will win the ICC T20 World Cup 2024,” the pacer asserted.

Additionally, Shaheen shed light on his conversation with newly appointed white-ball head coach Gary Kirsten, slated to join the team in England on May 19. “Gary Kirsten told me, ‘Don’t play for the name on the back of your shirt, but for the name on the front of the shirt,” he disclosed. Pakistan team is currently gearing up for the four-match T20I series against England, starting from May 22.

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