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Afridi will play decisive role at World T20, says Hafeez

September 12, 2012

“Shahid Afridi is a big match winner for us and hopefully he will deliver for us once more,” Hafeez said. -Photo by AP

COLOMBO: Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez expects Shahid Afridi to recover from injury in time to play a decisive role in his country's attempt to win another ICC World Twenty20.

Afridi is hoping to overcome a thumb injury before the tournament, which runs from September 18 to October 7 in Sri Lanka.

“Shahid Afridi is a big match winner for us and hopefully he will deliver for us once more,” Hafeez told reporters on Wednesday.

Pakistan open their Group D campaign on Sept. 23, when they meet New Zealand at Pallekele. The third team in their group is Bangladesh.

Hafeez believes Pakistan are well placed to repeat their 2009 World Twenty20 success, particularly because his players are familiar with the Sri Lankan pitches and conditions.

“Pallekele will suit us because the ball does a lot there,” he said. “The seamers will benefit and we should do well.

“We have a good bowling unit with Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami and Sohail Tanvir, who is difficult to deal with with his unusual action.

“The reason the Pakistan Cricket Board allowed everybody to go to Sri Lanka and play in the SLPL (Sri Lanka Premier League) was to get used to the conditions, especially in Pallekele and Colombo.”

Hafeez said the appointment of Javed Miandad as Pakistan's batting coach would give them a major boost.

“Javed will share with us some valuable inputs and it's a good thing,” Hafeez said.

“Whatever he tells us, we look forward to it.”