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No extra pressure of playing in India: Afridi

February 11, 2011 10:17 IST

Pakistan ODI captain Shahid Afridi said his team is all prepared to play on the Indian soil if it qualifies for the knock-out stage in the World Cup and there would not be any extra pressure on the players.

"We are used to the pressures of playing in India and if we have to play our knockout matches in India we are prepared for it," Afridi said in a press conference. The allrounder also felt that if Pakistan and India ended up playing each other in the World Cup it would be great for the sport and for Indo-Pak relations.

"A World Cup final against India in Mumbai would be an ideal finish to the World Cup because I have always believed that cricketing ties between the two countries have always helped in bringing the two nations closer to each other," said Afridi. He also added that the players were now thinking about going to India and playing for the first time since the Mumbai terror attacks.

"A lot has happened since then but in the past also we have gone to India and played in tense conditions and we can handle it. But these things will come later. Right now our focus is on keeping the momentum going for the mega-event."

Although Afridi said there were no clear favorites in this World Cup, but admitted that India and Sri Lanka are the potential threats to Pakistan's chances of winning the Cup. Meanwhile, he said there was no extra pressure on him because of Pakistan Cricket Board's decision in delaying naming the captain for the World Cup.

"I don't think about these things and even in New Zealand the captain and coach just told me to concentrate on cricket. That is what I did. But obviously it is a big honour for me to lead my country in a major event like the World Cup.

Pakistan's coach Waqar Younis said Shahid Afridi had done a great job as captain in the last one year but unfortunately in Pakistan until a captain won a trophy he was under scrutiny.

"But I would request everyone to just let this issue be dead and back the team for the World Cup because right now we don't need any controversies but the prayers and well wishes of the people and media," said Afridi.

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