India-Pakistan showdown in NY thrills Shahid Afridi – Newspaper

NEW YORK: Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is thrilled at the prospect of an India-Pakistan showdown in New York during this edition of the T20 World Cup.

Comparing it to the famous Super Bowl, Afridi said that America’s cricket-loving crowd will witness the ‘greatest cricketing rivalry’ at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

“For those Americans discovering the tournament, they should know that Pakistan’s game against India is like our Super Bowl,” Afridi wrote in his column for the ICC.

“I used to absolutely love playing India and I really believe it is the biggest rivalry in sport. When I played in those games, I got a lot of love and respect from the Indian fans and it means so much to both sides.

“Against India, it is about handling the pressure of the occasion. There is so much talent in both teams, they just need to put it together on the day.”

Afridi believed that the big expat community from South Asia would provide great love and support for the game, while also paving the way for its future growth. “People are going to love the support in the States. There is a great expat community over there which absolutely loves cricket.

“And the Americans absolutely love their sport, whether it is American football, basketball or baseball. I really believe that cricket will hit the mainstream over there in the next few years, which is very exciting for up-and-coming cricketers.”

While he refused to pick any favourites from the India-Pakistan contest, he backed the men in green to overcome their recent indifferent form and bring their A-game out during the tournament.

“Pakistan have shown in recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cups that they are capable of challenging anyone,” Afridi said. “Even though their form has been inconsistent in 2024, I believe they have all the ingredients to put it all together in the West Indies and USA.

The former all-rounder referred to Pakistan’s successful runs in their most recent T20 World Cups as a significant marker of how the side lifted their game at the crunch moments. He particularly backed Pakistan’s pace attack to shine in the USA and West Indies.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2024

Leave a Comment