KARACHI: Flamboyant Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi on Saturday started training after recovering from a groin injury, hoping to play his part in the World Twenty20 starting in Bangladesh.
The fifth edition of the World Twenty20 with 16 teams in competition will be held from March 16 to April 6.
The 34-year-old Afridi, who suffered fitness problems, in the Asia Cup last week, said he was feeling much better.
“I trained for the first time since the injury and (I am) feeling very good. I am almost 90 percent fit and hope to play at my full fitness once I join the squad,” Afridi told reporters.
Bangladesh, ranked 10th in the world, have been drawn with Afghanistan, Nepal and Hong Kong in group A of the first round.
The other group comprises Zimbabwe, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.
The top team from each group advances to the main tournament. They will join the eight seeded teams in the second, which opens with the India-Pakistan match on March 21.
Batsman Afridi hit two last over sixes to help Pakistan beat arch rival India in a thrilling one-wicket finish in the Asia Cup held in Bangladesh earlier this month.
He then starred in Pakistan’s tough 327-run chase with a 25-ball 59 against Bangladesh.
Bahria Town, a private real estate developer, awarded him a plot of land to build a house in their new residential project in southern port city of Karachi on Saturday.
Afridi said he will do his best to help Pakistan win the title. “I will do my best to help Pakistan win the title again,” said Afridi, who will join the squad in Dhaka on Monday.
Afridi said Twenty20 is a format where predictions are tough to make. “I think this shortest format is such that you cannot predict who will win the title, but I assure you that Pakistan team will do its best to win the title once more,” said Afridi.
Afridi, who also bowls leg-spin, was player of the match in the semifinal and final when Pakistan won its only World Twenty20 title in England in 2009.