Karachi, Mar 24: Pakistan's allrounder Shahid Afridi heaped praise on Bangladesh players, as they fought brilliantly in the final of the Asia Cup and said, he felt they were facing Australia in the final as minnows were too good and were on par with Australia.
"It seemed as if we were playing against Australia in the final. Bangladesh have matured a lot as a team and it felt good to win such a hard final," Afridi told reporters after reaching his hometown last night from Dhaka.
Afridi further added saying though the team had won the Asia Cup after a span of 12 years, it was a close contest and Pakistan needs to improve in many areas.
"We need improvement in some areas and we need to produce more players. I would urge the cricket authorities to lay lot of stress on our domestic cricket and implement a 10-year plan so that we can get maximum number of quality players," Afridi said.
After reaching their hometown, players were greeted and congratulated following their victory as fans danced to fast beats at the airport and welcomed the team with joy.
Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Saeed Ajmal,Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq returned to their hometown from Dhaka while other members of the team are expected to reach Lahore on Saturday.
Impressed by the performance showcased by the young Bangla team, Afridi felt the introduction of Bangladesh Premier League had helped the team a lot to motivate and boost the confidence in them, which resulted in their performance.
"I think by holding the BPL they did well and their players fought hard. I think we also need to make our domestic cricket as competitive as possible. We can look at the examples of the IPL and BPL while counting the benefits of such events," Afridi said.