New South Wales to approach Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi, who guided Pakistan to magnificence in the Twenty20 World Cup, may shortly receive an offer to play in Sheffield Shield for the Australian domestic side New South Wales.

The 29-year-old all-rounder helped Pakistan win their 1st major title in 17 years by thumping their sub-continental opponent Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the final at Lord's.

"Afridi is clearly one of the world's best T20 player, but also he would be precious addition to our dressing room, our young players would learn a lot from him."

"We would surely consider if he could be used for other formats," a NSW Cricket official was lined as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Afridi set up an excellent all-round performance through the tournament; scoring 176 runs in seven matches included two half-centuries and also gets 11 wickets with an economy rate of 5.32.

If the contract materialises, Shahid Afridi would become one of the high-profile players to join an Australian side, after NSW's selection of Kiwi Brendon McCullum for last season's Big Bash final alongside Victoria, the report said.

Younis Khan will not to reconsider Twenty20 retirement

The rising pressure on him to reconsider retirement from T20 cricket despite, Pakistan skipper Younis Khan on Tuesday made it clear that he not go back on his decision.

"I had determined before going to the World Cup I would leave no matter what the result. I don't want to be in a condition where I am left out of the team," Younis, who was mobbed by fans at the Karachi airport, said.

Younis Khan"I think now Twenty20 cricket is a very hard form of the game. It saps your energy in 40 overs. It is not easy cricket. I am also old for this type of cricket," he said.

"I became a more serious skipper after the early losses. I realized I had to be serious. I am happy that we could take so much joy to the people," he said.

"Our plan was simple. I decided to take the force and let the others to play freely. We gave a free license to Kamran and Afridi. It was decided that if they botched I would go into bat and take the pressure."

"I am always motivated by challenges and I perform better under pressure," he said.

Fired-up Pakistan lifted World T20 title

Pakistan won their 1st major title in 17 years when they stunned Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the World Twenty20 final at Lord's on Sunday.

Shahid Afridi hit an unbeaten 54 off 40 balls, his second following half-century, and former skipper Shoaib Malik made 24 not out through a match-winning partnership of 76 for the undefeated third wicket.

Sri Lanka won the toss and elected bat first. The Lankans slumped to 2-2 in the first nine balls and that became 34-4 before Skipper Sangakkara himself led the save act with a defiant unbeaten 64 from 52 balls. Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews put on 68 for the unbroken seventh wicket as Sri Lanka plundered 59 runs in the final five overs. Mathews returned unbeaten on 35 off 24 balls.

Pakistan got off to a amazing start when teenage fast bowler Mohammad Aamir sent back the in-form Tillekaratne Dilshan with the 5th ball of the match.

Dilshan, the tournament's leading scorer with 317 runs, miscued a pull shot off the speedy left-armer and was caught at toward the back square-leg by Shahzaib Hasan for zero.

Four balls later, Shahzaib grabbed his second catch at mid-off as Jehan Mubarak skied a leading edge off Razzaq, who shared the new ball with Aamir.

Jayasuriya counter-attacked with a six and four in Razzaq's second over, but the bowler hit back two balls later as the left-handed veteran edged a ball on to his stumps after making 17.

Razzaq, who replaced the injured Yasir Arafat after ending his links with the rebel Indian Cricket League, struck again in his third over when Misbah-ul Haq dived to his right at slip to remove Mahela Jayawardene for one.

Player of the Match: Shahid Afridi
Player of the Tournament: Tillekaratne Dilshan

Oval on high alert for India-Pakistan match

Security around the Oval cricket ground has been stepped up in view of the India-Pakistan Twenty20 warm-up match to be held on 03-jun-2009 with extra night watchmen and snuffer dogs pressed into service around the location.

It will be the first Indian-Pakistan cricket meet since the November Mumbai attacks, and officials are taking no chances to make sure that the match passes off peacefully.

Tournament director Steve Elworthy said, "The sporting landscape has changed hugely since the tragedies in Mumbai and Lahore. We need to be confident we're on top of the situation, which we are."

Security has also been stepped up in venues where the Sri Lankan Cricket team is scheduled to play, given the recent events in the island nation and expressions in London against the Sri Lankan government's offensive against the Tamil Tigers.

A dedicated Police Intelligence Cell headed by the former chief constable Sir John Evans, has been set up, with the mandate to supervise security arrangements for the whole Twenty20 World Cup tournament.