Cricket: Afridi hopes to regain fitness ahead of World T20

LAHORE, March 13, 2014 (AFP) – Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi said Thursday he was hopeful of a quick recovery from injury in time for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next week after his exploits at the Asia Cup. The 34-year-old hurt his groin during the recent one-day tournament, which concluded last week and was also held in Bangladesh.

As a result he will not fly out with the team early Friday, and instead travel on Monday.

“I am recovering well and (will) hopefully play at least one warm-up match,” Afridi told reporters.

He is set to miss Pakistan’s first warm-up match against New Zealand on Monday. Pakistan’s second warm-up match will be against South Africa on March 19.

One of cricket’s hardest hitters, his sparkling form with the bat helped Pakistan beat arch-rivals India in the Asia Cup, sealing victory in the last over by striking successive sixes.

He followed up with a whirlwind 25-ball 59 to anchor a tough 327-run chase against hosts Bangladesh, before Pakistan stumbled in the final to eventual winners Sri Lanka.

But Afridi said Pakistan could still take heart from their victory over India, against whom they will play in their first proper match of the tournament in Dhaka