St. Lucia: Keen to retain the ICC World T20 Championship, Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi is in no mood to let his team relax in the warm-up matches ahead of the important tournament.
Pakistan would kick start its campaign in the tournament against Bangladesh on May 1, but before that it has to play two practice games against the Windward XI (today April 28) and Zimbabwe (on Thursday, 29 April), and Afridi wants his side to win both the matches before the real test starts.
“We want to get off to a flyer and the importance of the warm up games should not be underestimated," PakPassion.net quoted Afridi, as saying.
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In 2009, although Pakistan took home the coveted trophy, its performance in the first two matches against England and India was ordinary to say the least, and Afridi knows that repeating the same mistakes again could dent hopes of lifting the championship for the second consecutive time.
“The Bangladesh match is the first match in the tournament for us and it is a vital game, so we must make sure that we are fully prepared, ready and in good form ahead of the first match. This is why the two warmup matches are crucial," Afridi said.
He said he would want his squad to give its all in the warm-up matches and start the campaign with a bang.
“The matches against Windward XI and Zimbabwe will be used as vital practice for the real thing, We want to take the matches very seriously and ensure that our players make full use of the warm up fixtures. We dont want to start slowly and would much rather go into the tournament showing some decent form," Afridi said.