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Afridi aiming to better McCullum's knock

Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi said he would be aiming to better Brendon McCullum's awe-inspiring 73-ball 158 when he makes his debut for Hyderabad Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

The swashbuckling right-hander left for India on Monday to play in the Twenty20 tournament and said McCullum's knock is fresh in his mind.

McCullum scored 100 from 53 balls during his blazing innings for Kolkata Knight Riders against Bangalore Royal Challengers in the opening match of the IPL on Friday.

Afridi, who has since 1997 held on to the record for the fastest one-day hundred from just 37 balls, said he is itching to emulate or surpass McCullum's innings.

"It is a very difficult target to achieve to better his 158 at a faster rate. But it is not impossible. Certainly if I get a chance to bat higher up the order and get enough overs to play I will give it a try," Afridi told reporters after the Twenty20 international against Bangladesh at the National Stadium in Karachi on Sunday.

Afridi will be available for the Deccan Chargers -- led by Indian batsman VVS Laxman -- for their game against the Delhi Dare Devils in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Yousuf has accused the Pakistan Cricket Board and IPL organisers for not doing enough to allow him to play in the tournament.

To make matters worse, Yousuf was dropped once again from the Pakistan Twenty20 squad for the match against Bangladesh after suffering the same fate for the World Cup last year in August.

"I am keen to play in the IPL because I want to prove to everyone I am as good a batsman in Twenty20 cricket as in any other form of the game. Why should my age be a hindrance to my playing Twenty20 cricket," Yousuf said.

Yousuf has made it clear he does not agree with the selectors' lack of faith in him for the instant form of the game.

"When I have been consistent in one-day internationals I can do the same in Twenty20 cricket," he stated.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said the decision to drop Yousuf for the Bangladesh was entirely of the selectors.

"There is no hanky panky involved in Yousuf being rested for Twenty20 cricket. The team is like a family and there is no question of anyone being angry or upset because he is not playing in a match," Malik said.

source - rediff.com
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