Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan made headlines on Monday when he went back on his words and stated that the team can still qualify for the semi-finals of the World T20 just a day after claiming that the ‘fans should not expect much from the team’.
The 81-year-old had made some strong-worded statements against the team and skipper Shahid Afridi on Sunday but backtracked on his words a day later in a press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore where he suddenly became optimistic about the team’s prospects.
“Pakistan are still in a good position and can qualify for the semi-finals if they win either against New Zealand or Australia,” said Shaharyar. “We should not criticise the team or the management when we are in the middle of a major tournament. The team spirit is there and we should not dampen it.”
The PCB chairman also praised Afridi for his services and stated that his future will be decided later. “Afridi himself said he would retire after the World T20, so if he decides to keep playing, he would have to present himself as a player and then we’ll decide whether we need him or not,” said Shaharyar. “He has been a great servant of the nation and has won us many matches so no one can question his status in the team.”
Shaharyar also stated that the energy around the Pakistan-India match proved that it is one of the greatest sporting rivalries in the world at the moment and that a bilateral series between the two nations should happen soon.
He further revealed that English and Wales Cricket Board Chairman Giles Clarke will be coming to Pakistan in April to discuss the possibility of assembling a commonwealth team or a World XI comprising of the top active players in the world and schedule matches in Karachi and Lahore in September.