Saturday, August 20, 2011

Foreword: Crash of the Titans

By Shahid Afridi

It was a great honour for me to have been provided the opportunity to lead the Pakistan team in ICC World Twenty20 Cricket Championship 2010 in the West Indies. It was a big challenge since Pakistan was also the defending champion.

Keeping in view Pakistan’s great track record in the fastest version of cricket there were great expectations from to successfully defend the crown. This brand of cricket is very difficult and unpredictable because of the quick changing nature of the game.

Since I had contributed my bit in having guided Pakistan to title winning performance ten months ago in England there was greater responsibility as well as additional pressure on me to deliver once more.

To be frank Pakistan, India and South Africa were among the firm favorites to win the title. But the Australians who had dominated the Test and One-day Internationals and England showed great adaptability in this fiery brand to reach the final.

We were not at our best in the initial stages of the competition but mainly because of the prayers of the nation and a resounding win over South Africa we managed to storm into the semifinals that had looked quite unlikely only a few days ago.

I must say that we considered ourselves unfortunate to lose in semifinals after having posted a healthy total of 191 against Australia. However I think that Mike Hussey played the innings of life that knocked us out of the race.

I still don’t think that I had committed any mistake by bringing on Saeed Ajmal for the final over. He had bowled the final over against South Africa so admirably and that’s why we made the unanimous decision on entrusting him with the final over against Australia too.

Saeed Ajmal, having bowled so well throughout the tournament, could not rise to the occasion against the rampaging Mike Hussey who unleashed powerful strokes all round the wicket to take the game away from Pakistan. Definitely it was a big disappointment for us to have given it away after our batsmen had posted such an imposing total.

I must compliment England for winning the title. They thoroughly deserved the trophy after having produced sterling performance most consistently. They displayed great innovation under their Director Operations, Andy Flower, to topple the formidable Aussies in the final. Paul Collingwood marshaled his troops so well in the field leaving little space to maneuver for their opponents.

***For further details about Crash of the Titans, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

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