Asia Cup perfect launch pad for 2011 WC: Afridi

Updated: Jun 12, 2010, 14:24 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi is hoping to lift the Asia Cup, which he believes would provide a perfect launch pad for his team’s campaign for the 2011 World Cup scheduled to be held in the sub-continent.

“A good showing in the Asia Cup would be a great start to our World Cup plans,” Afridi told The News on the eve of the team’s departure to Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

After the Asia Cup, Pakistan would be flying to England for an exhaustive Test and one-day series against the hosts and Australia, and Afridi is hopeful of a good show during the long summer.

Pakistan’s last sojourn in New Zealand and Australia turned out to be a rather forgetful one, as the team failed to win even a single match on the two month long tour.

The tour is recalled more for all non-sporting reasons with several controversies surrounding the team after its shameful performance, but an ‘optimistic’ Afridi said it was time to move on, and urged the players not to repeat their mistakes.

“What has happened cannot be changed. What we can do is ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. We cannot afford to be a bickering lot and the only way we can give our best is by staying united,” the flamboyant all rounder said.

Afridi said there has been a sea change in the attitude of players since he took over as the leader of the squad, and also assured that ‘grouping’ was a thing of the past.

“What I want is that our team should be united on the field and off it,” he added.