No extra pressure of playing in India: Afridi

Written by: Pti
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Lahore, Feb 10 (PTI) Pakistan ODI captain Shahid Afridisaid his team is all prepared to play on the Indian soil if itqualifies for the knock-out stage in the World Cup and therewould not be any extra pressure on the players.

"We are used to the pressures of playing in India and ifwe have to play our knockout matches in India we are preparedfor it," Afridi said in a press conference today.

The allrounder also felt that if Pakistan and India endedup playing each other in the World Cup it would be great forthe sport and for Indo-Pak relations.

"A World Cup final against India in Mumbai would be anideal finish to the World Cup because I have always believedthat cricketing ties between the two countries have alwayshelped in bringing the two nations closer to each other," saidAfridi.

He also added that the players were now thinking aboutgoing to India and playing for the first time since the Mumbaiterror attacks.

"A lot has happened since then but in the past also wehave gone to India and played in tense conditions and we canhandle it. But these things will come later. Right now ourfocus is on keeping the momentum going for the mega-event."

Although Afridi said there were no clear favorites inthis World Cup, but admitted that India and Sri Lanka are thepotential threats to Pakistan''s chances of winning the Cup.

Meanwhile, he said there was no extra pressure on himbecause of Pakistan Cricket Board''s decision in delayingnaming the captain for the World Cup.

"I don''t think about these things and even in New Zealandthe captain and coach just told me to concentrate on cricket.

That is what I did. But obviously it is a big honour for me tolead my country in a major event like the World Cup.

Pakistan''s coach Waqar Younis said Shahid Afridi had donea great job as captain in the last one year but unfortunatelyin Pakistan until a captain won a trophy he was underscrutiny.

"But I would request everyone to just let this issue bedead and back the team for the World Cup because right now wedon''t need any controversies but the prayers and well wishesof the people and media," said Afridi.

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