Hafeez pinning hopes on Afridi for World T20 championship success

Colombo: Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez is expecting Shahid Afridi to recover from his thumb injury in time to play a decisive role in his country`s attempt to win the ICC World Twenty20 championship, which would run from September 18 to October 7 in Sri Lanka.

"Shahid Afridi is a big match winner for us and hopefully he will deliver for us once more," the Daily Times quoted Hafeez, as saying.

Hafeez believes Pakistan are well placed to repeat their 2009 World Twenty20 success, particularly because his players are familiar with the Sri Lankan pitches and conditions.

"Pallekele will suit us because the ball does a lot there. The seamers will benefit and we should do well," he said.

"We have a good bowling unit with Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami and Sohail Tanvir, who is difficult to deal with with his unusual action. The reason the Pakistan Cricket Board allowed everybody to go to Sri Lanka and play in the SLPL (Sri Lanka Premier League) was to get used to the conditions, especially in Pallekele and Colombo," he added.

Hafeez also said Javed Miandad`s appointment as Pakistan`s batting coach would give them a major boost.

"Javed will share with us some valuable inputs and it`s a good thing. Whatever he tells us, we look forward to it," Hafeez said.

Pakistan will open their Group D campaign on September 23, when they meet New Zealand at Pallekele. The third team in their group is Bangladesh.