Missing the third season of the Indian Premier League is actually a blessing in disguise for the Pakistani cricketers since it has allowed the players to gel well as a team and prepare better for the Twenty20 World Cup, skipper Shahid Afridi said on Thursday.
The flamboyant all rounder, who was asked to lead the team in the West Indies by the PCB, insists that he has no regrets on missing the lucrative league.
"No I don't have any regrets at all. In a way it is a blessing in disguise for all our players that we are not playing in the IPL before the World Cup.
"Given the problems that have besieged Pakistan cricket in recent months it is good that we have got time to work together as a team in the World Cup training camp, it has allowed us to settle down and focus on the World Cup," Afridi said.
Afridi and several other leading Pakistani players were included in the list of cricketers who were put up for auction but none of the franchises bid for any of 11 players.
But Afridi said that issue was now behind him and he was focused on the World Cup.
"We really are not following the IPL closely. We don't know who is playing or who is not playing because the purpose of holding this training camp has been to gel with the players and allow them to prepare as a team for the World Cup," he added.
Afridi feels his side badly needed a break after the disastrous Australian tour, so missing IPL has actually helped the team.
The all-rounder said defending the title in the West Indies would be a difficult task and also acknowledged his responsibility as a senior player.
"I would definitely feel that I have achieved the biggest landmark of my career, I want the team to do well in the World Cup. It is a big ambition for me and I know as a senior player I will have to show the way in every department of the game," he said.
The World Cup is scheduled to begin from April 30 with Pakistan drawn to play its opening match against Bangladesh.