KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and team management for their lack of preparation for the New Zealand tour. The Men in Green had a tough time Down Under, where they lost six consecutive matches before finishing the tour on a high with back-to-back victories to claim the T20I series after being whitewashed in the ODIs. Afridi, who retired from international cricket last year after representing the Green Shirts for 18 years, expressed his views about the team’s performance in New Zealand, and revealed his belief that things could’ve turned out differently had there been better planning. “When the Pakistan team went to New Zealand, they just trained at the camp for a day, which was by no means enough,” said Afridi, while talking at the MOU signing ceremony of his foundation with Microsoft Pakistan to empower youth from underprivileged communities in Pakistan at a local hotel on Monday. “When you know you are going to play with a difficult opponent in tough conditions, you should have practiced more. All these things matter but in the end practice, fitness and skills are required to win matches.” Afridi recently took part in an exhibition match on the ‘Cricket on Ice’ event, where he was the captain of the Royals’ team and grabbed media attention by asking an Indian fan to straighten the flag before taking a picture with it. When asked about it, Afridi said: “We should respect the flags of other nations and that why I asked them to hold flag in a proper way and also because I wanted them to have a better picture.” Talking about the partnership with Microsoft Pakistan for the betterment of youth, Afridi said: “I highly appreciate and thank the management of Microsoft for entrusting and acknowledging my pledge and strive for the cause. Through this we will be working in the areas where people have less knowledge about technology and give them atleast enough knowledge about the system that they know for whom they are voting for in the elections.” Afridi represented Pakistan in 27 Test, 398 ODIs and 98 T20Is, where he collectively scored more than 11,000 runs and claimed 540 wickets. Published in Daily Times, February 14th 2018.