Afridi asks Pakistan players to stay away from news

March 28th, 2011 - 2:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali, March 28 (IANS) Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has instructed his teammates to avoid watching news bulletins and talk shows on Indian channels ahead of his team’s World Cup semi-final against old and arch rivals India here Wednesday.

“I’ve heard that the media here has created quite a hype around our World Cup semi-final against India. But I’m not watching it. Whenever they start flashing some story about it, I just change the channel and go to something else. I have no time for it,” said Afridi.

Afridi said Pakistan are in India to play a World Cup semi-final and that’s it.

“There is no war, nothing like that. It’s a big cricket match for both the teams and I want to just focus on it,” he stressed.

The flamboyant all-rounder said that he is also advising his teammates to do the same. “I’ve asked all the players to avoid watching news or discussions on TV shows and bulletins. It might distract them.”

Afridi is seen as a vital cog for Pakistan as they look to floor India in their own backyard. “I know that as captain and the team’s senior player, I have a huge responsibility,” he said.

“I’ve been really working hard and am confident that I’ll lead from the front against India. It’s a huge match not just because it’s against India but because a win in it will give us a place in the final.”

The all-rounder, who is the tournament’s most successful bowler with 21 wickets, is pleased with his team’s preparations.

“We’ve had some really good training sessions here,” he said. “The boys are all focused and the best part is that they are all relaxed and not taking any pressure.”

“How they will handle the pressure in the match is going to be the key and I’m confident that they will not face any problems in doing that. We are a good side and have the guts to face any situation.”

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