Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt on Monday held a lengthy meeting with limited overs captain Shahid Afridi to pick the national squad for the ODIs against New Zealand and the probables for the upcoming World Cup to be held in the sub-continent starting February 19.
Afridi later told reporters that it had been a very good meeting.
“Such a meeting was due and a lot of positives came out of it. The chairman was briefed on everything and he was very receptive to what I had to say on different issues,” he said.
The skipper made it clear that he had no intentions of stepping down despite criticism from some quarters on his leadership.
“I don’t know exactly what anyone is saying but I try to learn if some great players like Wasim Akram or Imran Khan speak,” Afridi said.
“But everyone has to realise that the present team is very different from the one we had in the 90s when we won the World Cup. On Monday things are different and the situation is different and we have had to manage in difficult circumstances in the last one year,” he added.
He said that Pakistan has the ability to do well in the World Cup and in the coming ODI series in New Zealand.
“I know some people are disappointed and not sure about what is going to happen in the World Cup but I want to assure them that this team will give it its best shot,” Afridi said.
The flamboyant all-rounder also made it clear that the team required complete support and backing of former players.
“I am ready to learn from anyone but I just don’t like criticism for cricitism’s sake. Criticism should be valid. I just think that our former players now need to back this team for an important event like the World Cup. These are the same set of players we have to rely on so everyone needs to support and encourage them,” Afridi insisted.
The national selection committee is due to meet on Tuesday to announce the World Cup probables as well the ODI squad for New Zealand.