Pakistan's game-changing veteran allrounder Shahid Afridi is eyeing two major personal milestones and preparing to shoulder extra bowling responsibility heading into his final cricket World Cup.

Afridi, who will turn 35 during the tournament, announced just before Christmas last year his intention to retire from ODIs after contesting his fifth World Cup.

He has been a consistent match winner with his hard-hitting batting and fast leg breaks since entering international cricket as a 16-year-old back in 1996.

Afridi quickly announced his presence to the world by smashing the then fastest-ever ODI century in his first innings at that level.


A former Pakistan captain, Afridi has played 391 ODIs, amassing 7948 runs at 23.58 and a strike rate of 116, belting 345 sixes along the way.

He has taken 393 wickets at 33.96 and and an economy rate of 4.62.

Afridi still retains the capacity to take an attack apart, blasting 67 off 29 balls against New Zealand just over a week ago.

"As a senior player, I'm very motivated and I know how important this World Cup is for me and my nation," Afridi said.

"I think I have a milestone as well to complete, 8000 runs and 400 wickets."

With neither Saeed Ajmal and Mohammed Hafeez expected to participate in the World Cup, Afridi will shoulder the responsibility of being his side's main spin option.

"For the last four or five years me, Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez have really done well as spinners and a bowling unit," Afridi said.

"I know there's big pressure on me, because I know no one is with me, but the last three or four years, I'm enjoying my bowling."


He is old enough to recall watching Pakistan's only World Cup triumph in Australia 23 years ago.

Afridi rated the 1992 team stronger in the bowling department than the current squad, as Pakistan will go into the coming tournament without two of their premier pacemen, Umar Gul and Junaid Khan, as well as without Ajmal.

"(The 1992 team) was a combination of seniors and youngsters and we've got some very talented youngsters as well and we're expecting a lot from them," Afridi said.

Pakistan have lost 10 of their past 12 ODIs, but Afridi said he was positive about their prospects and expected them to rise to the occasion.

They start their campaign against arch-rival and defending champions India.

"India-Pakistan is always a crunch game and everybody will be glued to the TV for that game," batsman Ahmed Shehzad said.

"We've heard hotels in Australia are fully booked for the last three to four months."

Shehzad suffered a minor skull fracture after he was hit on the helmet last November, two weeks before Phillip Hughes was struck by a short delivery which ultimately claimed his life.

Shehzad recovered and scored an ODI century in December.

"After that Phillip Hughes incident happened, of course it was tough for me, being a player, let me be very honest with you," SHehzad said.

"There were lots of noises before I came to play the T20 series and ODI series after that hit.

"But I was working very hard with the coaches back home."

AAP aw/jb