‘Pakistan’s game against India is like our Super Bowl’: Shahid Afridi’s message to local Americans

NEW YORK: Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has compared the India-Pakistan to the “Super Bowl.” Team India, led by Rohit Sharma, will take on Babar Azam’s Pakistan at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on June 9.

“For those Americans discovering the tournament, they should know that Pakistan’s game against India is like our Super Bowl,” Afridi, who is the T20 World Cup ambassador, told ICC.

“I used to absolutely love playing India and I really believe it is the biggest rivalry in sport. When I played in those games, I got a lot of love and respect from the Indian fans and it means so much to both sides.

“Against India, it is about handling the pressure of the occasion. There is so much talent in both teams, they just need to put it together on the day. That will be the case in that game and in the tournament overall. The team that can hold its nerve will come out on top.”

India will enjoy prime time broadcast slots for all their T20 World Cup 2024 matches. (PTI)India will enjoy prime time broadcast slots for all their T20 World Cup 2024 matches. (PTI)

Afridi said it is hard to pick a favourite in the shortest format.

“T20 cricket is so unpredictable, and teams can bat so deep now. You can have a batter coming in at No.8 and smashing the ball at a strike rate of 150 to win a game. I hope that will be Pakistan this time around, but it is hard to pick a favourite,” said the former all-rounder.

Cricket in the US

Afridi is confident that the American public will warm up to the sport.

“This is also a huge tournament for American cricket. I have always had a great time when playing in the USA and for those who have not experienced it, the conditions are similar to playing in the West Indies.

“People are going to love the support in the States. There is a great expat community over there which absolutely loves cricket. And the Americans absolutely love their sport, whether it is American football, basketball or baseball.

“I really believe that cricket will hit the mainstream over there in the next few years, which is very exciting for up-and-coming cricketers,” Afridi added.

The hefty prize money

This year, the ICC has announced a record-breaking prize fund of $11.25 million for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, with the winners set to receive at least $2.45 million. The runners-up will earn at least $1.28 million, while the losing semi-finalists will take home $787,500 each. Teams that do not advance past the second round will receive $382,500 each, and those finishing between ninth and 12th place will get $247,500 each. Teams ranking from 13th to 20th place will each earn $225,000. Additionally, every team will receive an extra $31,154 for each match won, excluding the semi-finals and finals.


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