July 5, 2009

Pakistan cricket

Afridi reincarnated

Jamie Alter
Shahid Afridi celebrates after hitting the winning run, as Lasith Malinga looks on, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009
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To a nation that is still savouring the victory at the ICC World Twenty20 it may not go down too well, but the fact of the matter is that there is something more important to celebrate and talk about. It was a tournament where Shahid Afridi reinvented himself and that would mean much more to Pakistan than just the victory, provided, of course, he can keep it going, writes Humair Ishtiaq in the Pakistan daily Dawn.

The biggest gain is in his success to curb the irritating tendency to hit everything out of existence. His one-dimension batting technique was simple: close the eyes and hit through the line. But no more. It was truly and simply refreshing to watch Afridi ducking under the short balls and leaving the ones that wobbled around early in his innings. That he chose the shortest version of the game, which is more about the wham-bam stuff that he is known for than the straight-bat niceties, was a bit ironic but refreshing nonetheless.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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