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Afridi expects mature response from Pak fans

Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 12:18 [IST]
 
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Mohali, Mar 31: Vanquished Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi expects a mature reaction from Pakistani cricket fans when the team returns home after going down to archrivals India in the high voltage World Cup semi-final clash in Mohali on Wednesday.

Afridi expects mature response from fans

"I think people have realised that we have put in our full effort. We have won six out of eight matches which is a big achievement," Samaa TV quoted Afridi, as telling reporters.

"We have confidence (in our fans). Our country has backed us so much. People who love you so much can criticise you as well. It''s not a big deal," he added.

The 1992 champions have been unable to play international matches at home since the 2009 terror attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team in Lahore, and last year's spot-fixing scandal raised serious doubts about the integrity of Pakistani players.

The scandal robbed them of the services of key players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, and few were willing to bet on Pakistan winning the mega event for a second time.

"In my opinion we have played better than 2003 and 2007 when our teams were much better. Nobody was expecting anything from this team. I am proud of this team," Afridi said.

Meanwhile, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni recalled the ire of Indian fans, who had stoned the cricketers'' houses following India''s first-round exit in the 2007 World Cup.

Dhoni said that those were the moments when fan support really mattered.

"We are here to entertain. We have always given our best whether it was the 2007 World Cup or the 2011," he said, adding, "We don''t really like losing and always give our best. We always need the support, especially when we are not doing well."

"We know when we are doing well, the whole of India is with us. But it''s moments like the 2007 World Cup when you really need the kind of support to boost the players," he maintained.

Dhoni revealed that he was depressed following the unfortunate incident, and took more than a month to recover.

"I still remember it took me over a month to get out of that kind of depression," he said

Oneindia Cricket

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