Asia Cup 2013-14 March 6, 2014

'I am better off coaching myself' - Afridi

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Asia Cup is Pakistan's first tournament under a new-look team management, with Moin Khan as coach and Zaheer Abbas as chief consultant. The regime change has coincided with a stunning return to batting form for Shahid Afridi, whose unbeaten 18-ball 34 against India and a brutal 25-ball 59 against Bangladesh were instrumental in Pakistan reaching the final.

But correlation, Afridi has said, didn't quite mean causation. While praising the support staff for backing him, he said he was essentially his own coach.

"It was different earlier, it's not that it was not good," Afridi said, after Pakistan's practice session on Thursday. "The support team that we have now are all knowledgeable and keep you positive. As I've said earlier also, having played at this level for so many years, I don't need a coach. I am better off coaching myself. I know very well what to do and what not to do. It's about having the right people to back you and support you."

Pakistan, Afridi said, had peaked at the right time in the tournament, and this would help them at the World Twenty20 as well.

"I've already mentioned before how important for us this series is," he said. "The World Twenty20 is coming up after this. I think we peaked at the right time, that was the requirement."

Pakistan have never beaten India in an ICC world event, be it the 50-over World Cup or the World T20. Asked if they could overcome the jinx when they meet in the World Twenty20 on March 21, Afridi said he wouldn't think about it till the Asia Cup ended.

"I'm not looking that ahead," he said. "My and my team's focus is just on the Asia Cup final at the moment. When the World Twenty20 comes, we will talk about the India-Pakistan then."

Afridi said India and Pakistan should play each other more frequently.

"It should be like that only," he said. "Pakistan have always supported India at every step. Despite threats, Pakistan have always toured India. I think cricket can only revive India-Pakistan relations. Sport brings friendship. The way I enjoyed my cricket in India, I never enjoyed anywhere else. We are after all neighbours. The relations should be good between us. Cricket can only help better the relations."

This year's IPL, like most other editions before it, will not include Pakistan players. "Ask your Indian government," Afridi said, when his views were sought on this. "Why ask me?"

Afridi will turn 35 during the 2015 World Cup, and will have entered the 19th year of his international career. But the thought of retirement, he said, had not entered his mind yet.

"Obviously, the World Cup 2015 is going to be a huge thing for me and my team," he said. "As long as I'm fit and give my life to cricket, I'll continue playing the sport. I will sideline myself the moment I start thinking that I'm becoming a burden on my team. I will not give anyone an opportunity to talk."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy on March 8, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Come on afridi malinga looking forward to u

  • Azmathullah on March 8, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    It is quite natural that you are envied if you are performing well. Boom Boom had been always a terror to the opposition team and they love to see him faltering. He is one of the great all-rounders I have seen. It is a treat to see him hitting everyone to the fence. All the best to him personally. In cricket the team which performs better on a given day wins. After all it is a gentleman sport.

  • Android on March 7, 2014, 23:22 GMT

    Jadeja is a class apart from average afridi who shines once in a blue moon. Hitting a spinner for six over a 60m boundary is no big deal. He is just a wild slogger at the most, pretty much a tail ender. Even agarker was good at that. He averages in the mid 30's with the ball and 23 with the bat which is quite shameful to be honest for someone who is claimed as an allrounder. This attitude about coaching myself explains a lot actully It just goes to show why he has been such an average performer. India has produced world class batsman but average bowlers and have still won two world cups a T20 world cup and Champions trophy. Pakistan cricket needs to look around at it's neighbours to learn how to select a team capable of achieving soemthing not some part time entertainer who only knows slogging and nothing else.

  • Suren on March 7, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    @Mansoor Iqbal - "Pakistan have never beaten India in an ICC world event" We have beaten India in ICC Champions trophy in the 2004 and 2009 editions!

    The question was not about ICC World event .... it was about "ICC World Cup" event ... 50-over ODI world cup or T-20 World cup.

    "I am better off coaching myself" -- This statement to me has a tone that is on a thin borderline between confidence and over-confidence. Sincerely hope this is not overconfidence. Otherwise it would be a dent to their world cup preparations. Nevertheless, two great innings from Boom Boom Afridi. Finally has come off age.

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2014, 15:47 GMT

    @Lackshmindra Fernando on (March 7, 2014, 12:25 GMT)

    Your ignorance is appalling. It is NOT India who is playing the highlights on the TV. It is Star TV; which is primarily an Australian owned and promoted firm. They are a commercial outfit,and go by commercial (meaning Ad revenue prospects) and not by cricketing considerations in choosing what to broadcast. Show your protest at them. Don't bark the wrong tree, for your ignorance. It also shows what the "paying" public wants to see.

  • Menake on March 7, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    Although I am a Sri Lankan fan, Afridi is in my favorite player list. Though I hope SL to win, I would like another firecracker inning from Afridi! Hope for a nail biting finish.

  • Android on March 7, 2014, 14:31 GMT

    He is a legend. He Can change the game in minutes. Hats off to his innings against India and Bangladesh under pressure :)

  • hibbatur on March 7, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    He Play good or bad Afridi definitely brings more energy to the team on the pitch, he is a very friendly and helpful character which helps bind the boys together.

  • ajith on March 7, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    Afridi is in great form and that can only be good for Pak. He though is like his team, unpredictable. But then, thats part of the charm, I will take a maverick anyday compared to a cool calculating guy for visual and emotional impact. Hope to see Afridi doing very well in this T20, hopefully not against India. :) I am an Indian fan after all, despite my team trying my patience a bit too long nowadays.

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    He brings in a lot of energy to the outfit. He gives his input in bowling,. batting and fielding, at times he succeeds and at times he fails but he is a STAR. A match winner on his day, and thats the way he is, i mean people should quit thinking that he will play like inzi, sachin or kallis. he is into his 19th year in international cricket and he can't transform now, and has given us alot of happy moments including WC T20 2009 title. We have been getting close to winning matches but we couldn't just finish the games and thats what lala did in his last two innings. He takes crucial wickets and crucial times and when gets out without scoring, we forget what he did with the ball. We should support him and encourage him.

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