x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Afridi pins hopes on series win

Shahid Afridi believes that all under-fire Pakistan need is a one-day series win against South Africa in the UAE to boost their confidence ahead of next year's World Cup after a tumultuous tour of England.

Shahid Afridi believes that all under-fire Pakistan need is a one-day series win against South Africa in the UAE to boost their confidence ahead of next year's World Cup after a tumultuous tour of England.

The subcontinent side lost both the Test and one-day series to England, and three of their players - including Salman Butt, the then captain - were provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council following their alleged involvement in spot-fixing during the last Test at Lord's.

Afridi told the News International: "It's all about confidence. We can improve our World Cup chances by boosting our confidence and should do that by winning matches against South Africa and later against New Zealand."

Afridi's side play South Africa in a five-match one-day series in Abu Dhabi and Dubai starting on October 29, prior to which they will play two Twenty20 games with the Proteas in the capital on October 26 and 27. A two-match Test series will follow next month.

The former Test captain urged Pakistan's players to put the events in England behind them.

"We have to forget what happened during the tour of England," said Afridi. "What the team desperately needs is some good results and I'm sure that if we play to our potential we can do that against South Africa."

On the trio of Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, who will be unavailable to play in the UAE due to their suspension, the all-rounder said: "We are going to miss the three because they are our key players.

"But we can't just sit back and cry over it. Thankfully, we still have several match-winners in our side."

He added that their spin attack would come in handy on the slow UAE wickets. "Spinners will certainly be playing the major role in UAE," said Afridi. "The wickets there should give them a lot of assistance."

* Press Association