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We need to focus on domestic cricket: Shahid Afridi

Karachi: Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi has said that Pakistan need to focus and invest a lot in its domestic cricket in order to be able to compete in a rapidly changing game at the global level.

Afridi, who announced his retirement from one-day internationals after the World Cup and will now lead the national T20 squad, said Pakistan needed to take care of its domestic players.

"If we now want to defeat the big guns and become a consistent side, we will have to do lot of hard work on our grass root level cricket. There is a need to provide more facilities to our players in domestic level," Afridi said on a local TV channel.

Afridi, who played in 398 ODIs, said that it was only Pakistan with its raw talent that was still able to defeat big teams like South Africa and Australia despite its limited resources and limitations.

"No other country would have survived for long as a strong outfit internationally if it stopped hosting Test teams at home. Pakistan has not hosted a Test side since 2009 and yet our players have still managed to keep things going and keep getting good results even against good sides," he said.

Afridi said that cricket has changed a lot and Pakistan also now have to move with the times and improve its system.

He praised the outgoing ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq for leading the side sensibly for the last four years.

"Misbah is a very good human being and for four years he did a good job despite all the pressures and problems. I enjoyed playing with him," he said.

Afridi also took potshots at former Test captain Muhammad Yousuf for his brash comments on him.

"I respect Muhammad Yousuf a lot because he was a much bigger player than me but some of the comments he makes are personal and make no sense at all. It does not do him any justice to talk such nonsense on a channel and keep on attacking me as a player," Afridi said.

Yousuf recently said that Afridi was never such a big player to warrant the adulation and popularity he got.

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