ISLAMABAD: Former skipper Shahid Afridi believes the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final to be held in Karachi will send a positive sign and message to the whole world.
PSL 2018 will kick off on February 22 in the UAE and finish off on March 25 in Pakistan. The two eliminators and the final of the tournament will be played in Lahore and Karachi, respectively. Afridi said he has started to practice for the PSL. “I have reduced my other activities and I am focusing more on the PSL. Hopefully, the upcoming season will be good for me,” wisdenindia.com quoted him as saying.
He said the situation in Pakistan is much better now and it is good to know that cricket is returning to Pakistan.
“This year, there will be two playoffs in Lahore and then the final in Karachi. It’s going to be a huge moment for the people of Karachi,” he said.
Speaking about the Pak-India bilateral ties, he said sports can be used as a tool to improve relations between India and Pakistan. Afridi drew on his recent experience of playing alongside Indians in an exhibition Ice Cricket tournament in Switzerland, suggesting that cricket could play a role in melting the ice.
“Due to lack of international cricket between the two countries, we now play either in the ICC tournaments or the events such as Ice Cricket,” he said.
He said politics should be kept away from sports. “It should rather be used as a tool to improve relations between the countries. Sports is something which can play a big role in bringing peace,” he said.
Afridi captained the Royals in a series of two 20-over matches played at 1800 metres above sea level and in below zero degrees Celsius temperatures in St Mortiz, Switzerland. The Indian players who featured in the event were Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Joginder Sharma, Ajit Agarkar and Ramesh Powar. “It was nice to meet and play with players from India after a long time,” he said.