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Afridi says wants to begin World T20 campaign with a win

KOLKATA: Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi says his team wants to beign their World T20 campaign with a triumph.

“All the matches in the World T20 are important for us,” he told a press conference.

We were mentally and physically prepared to arrive in India for the World T20, he added.

The Pakistan captain said his team get more love in India than Pakistan. Afridi was taken to task by some former cricketers for this statement.

He said his team had begun full training for the mega tournament. He insisted that his team players need to perform better in every department.

Read here: World T20: Pakistan team lands in Kolkata

He praised the Indian side for their quality cricket in recent times. “If you look at the Asia Cup, Yuvraj and Virat did really well against Pakistan,” he added.

Pakistan had delayed their departure for neighbouring India earlier this week citing concerns about threats from Hindu religious extremists against the team.

Pakistan will kick off its campaign against qualifier team on March 16 in Kolkata before playing their high-voltage match against India on March 19 on the same venue.

The Pakistani team also failed to qualify for the Asia Cup final after losing to India and Bangladesh last week.

India-Pakistan showdowns usually draw hundreds of millions of television viewers, making it the biggest box office attraction in the sport.

However, diplomatic tensions have meant that the two teams have not played any bilateral series for more than three years, and their rivalry is restricted to multi-national tournaments such as the World T20.

They have not played a full series since 2007, although Pakistan did tour India late in 2012 for a short limited over series that failed to revive the ties fully.

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