Afridi takes advice from Wasim, Imran before heading to World Cup
Karachi: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi turned to the iconic duo of Wasim Akram and Imran Khan to seek advice for a successful World Cup campaign and both the former captains advised him that keeping the side united would be the key to winning the trophy.
"Yes I spoke to Imran Khan and Wasim Akram as I idolize them for their exploits for Pakistan cricket and both were very supportive and gave some sound advice," Afridi said before boarding the flight to Bangladesh early this morning.
Imran reminded the flamboyant all-rounder that as captain it was his prime responsibility to perform himself and keep the players happy.
"Imran said unity would be the key to success in the tournament and if the players had self-belief and stuck together in the World Cup, they would achieve wonders," Afridi said.
He said the former captain, who led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup title, told him that he had high hopes from the current squad as they appeared gelled and had plenty of talent and depth.
"Imran`s other advice was to be prepared for injury problems in the tournament and not to get discouraged. He said Pakistan had proved everyone wrong by winning the 92` tournament," Afridi said.
Afridi said former captain had also advised him to keep working with the senior players and to keep on reminding them how important they were to the team.
"Imran bhai also advised that we should be careful about the dew factor in the tournament as most of the matches are day and night fixtures and in March and April he pointed out that this was a major issue in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the evening," he said.
Afridi said Wasim, who led Pakistan to the final in the 1999 World Cup, had advised him to keep backing his players all the time.
Apparently, Wasim told Afridi that he should avoid criticising any of the players in public as this proves discouraging for them and spoilt the dressing room atmosphere.
The former captain told Afridi that even if he had any issues with their performance, he should speak to him privately and not publicly.
"Wasim`s contention was this way the players even if they were struggling for form retained their confidence which was the key to winning the World Cup."
Afridi said Wasim had also expressed confidence in the ability of the current team to do well in the tournament.
"He also reminded me that in such a long event it was necessary to remain focused all the time and not to give up even if they were some bad results along the way."