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20 October 201010:44

Afridi looks ahead to CWC 2011 with hope

Shahid Afridi wants a fresh Kamran Akmal for ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Afridi looks ahead to CWC 2011 with hope - Cricket News

Pakistani cricket team star batsman Shahid Khan Afiridi.

Skipper Shahid Afridi wants Pakistan to put its preparations for ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 back on track by winning the forthcoming One-Day International series against South Africa in United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month.

The 1992 champions find their cricket in a mess just five months before the ICC Cricket World Cup gets under way in Dhaka and will need to really work hard in the lead up to the quadrennial spectacle if they are to be counted among the leading title contenders.

Afridi wants his boys to gel together and pick up as many wins as possible ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 to boost their confidence.

"It's all about confidence," he said Tuesday. "We can improve our World Cup chances by boosting our confidence and should do that by winning matches against South Africa and later against New Zealand," he said.

Pakistan will play two Twenty20 Internationals against South Africa in Dubai later this month before taking on the Proteas in a five-match One-Day International series in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The limited-overs matches will be followed by two Tests before the Pakistanis fly for New Zealand to play a full series, including T20 games, ODIs and Tests.

Afridi is hoping that his team will make the most of the twin assignments in the UAE and New Zealand. He wants Pakistan to put aside the bitter memories of an acrimonious tour of England and give their best against South Africa.

"We have to forget what happened during the tour of England," said Afridi. "What the team desperately needs is some good results and I'm sure that if we play to our potential we can do that against South Africa."

Pakistan lost to England in all three formats (3-1 in Tests, 3-2 in ODIs and 2-0 in T20s) during a marathon tour of England that also included a series against Australia.

Afridi is confident that Pakistan's spin attack will give the 'hosts' an edge on slow and turning wickets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. "Spinners will certainly be playing the major role in UAE," said Afridi, himself an accomplished leg-spinner. "The wickets there should give them a lot of assistance."