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March 21, 2011

World Cup 2011

Storm in an idiot cup

Kamran Abbasi
Shahid Afridi strikes a pose after castling Jimmy Hansra, Canada v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 3, 2011
Shahid Afridi's 'starman' celebration is inspirational and fun  © Getty Images
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Pakistan end Australia's unbeaten World Cup record and Shahid Afridi, the winning captain, is an idiot? Excuse me, is that news? Afridi's stupidity is well documented. This is ball-biting pitch-dancing cow-cornering Shahid Afridi we are discussing, isn't it?

Ever since his debut in 1996, Afridi's batting performances have been desperate attempts to suppress the madness of King Shahid. This mental anguish is mostly futile but invariably compulsive viewing. That's why cricket fans around the world love Afridi, whatever Ian Chappell has to say about his irresponsibility or his self-obsessed starman celebration.

Pakistan might crash against West Indies, and then Chappell can reprise his words around the globe and into a billion homes, but that will not change three salient facts.

Afridi took on the Pakistan one-day captaincy at a time of deep crisis and limited alternatives. He galvanised the players into unexpected contenders for this year's World Cup. Nothing 'idiotic' or 'frenetic' about that, rather something to be applauded.

Secondly, his starman celebration predates his captaincy. It is both inspirational and, lest we forget why we watch in the first place, it is fun. As far as I can remember, bowlers have always taken 'the glory' when they have taken a wicket--Afridi has become an exceptional one-day bowler, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament no less.

Finally, Pakistan under the captaincy of 'idiot' Afridi managed what no other team captained by various unfrenetic non-idiots has managed for over a decade: they beat Australia in a World Cup match. If it takes a touch of madness to pull off such a result then, as you'd expect, I'm with the idiots every time.

Indeed, a more troublesome issue for Australia is that your World Cup campaign must be in genuine danger if you are walloped by a team led by an idiot? Alternatively, use of such phraseology by your country's most prominent commentator is a frenetic case of sour grapes of idiotic proportions and should immediately be replaced by the incisive analysis he is reputed for.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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Keywords: Commentary

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by azhar qazi on (April 10, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

well written!!

Posted by khadka on (March 27, 2011, 23:04 GMT)

he is not chapell he is slipper.......

Posted by lokendra khadka on (March 27, 2011, 23:02 GMT)

i am from nepal..... what i want to say is ....Pak need the title for what has happened in pakistan for last few years...i admire afridi and will always..

Posted by Faridoon on (March 27, 2011, 12:24 GMT)

Chappell is just an old grumpy guy who cannot believe his invincible team are now such losers. Feel sorry for Chappell, must have such high hopes. Did anyone read the article he wrote about how Ponting was now angry and the rest bettercwatch out. Its hilarious, he put ponting on such a high pedestal, hes probably to blame partly for the prssure put on the aussies.

Posted by Sameer on (March 27, 2011, 12:01 GMT)

Hats off Kamran..wonderful reply to a biased commentator...email this to chappel pls :D

Posted by Abdur Rahman on (March 25, 2011, 10:06 GMT)

We love this idiot for being idiot and making us proud over the years. We give a damn of what Ian Chappel thinks, as we all know his biasness towards australia. What we care and think is we have beaten them. And we love our idiot captain more because people like Ian Chappel are against him.

Afridi, we love you the way you are. Stay the way you are and we'll love you the way we have always been.

Posted by Usman Qaiser on (March 25, 2011, 4:39 GMT)

Awesome , i wanted someone to speak against crazy chappel. You are the man...

Posted by Nusrat Turi on (March 24, 2011, 17:48 GMT)

Bye Bye Ian Chapel and Aussies, pack your luggage and go home you wise man. Now I will Pray that even Bangladesh clean sweep Aussies in home series.

Posted by Atheek on (March 24, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

As nutral man from Sri Lanka, I observed that most of the Aussie commentators biased against pakistan. Even after the victory against Sri Lanka Mr. Tom Moody interviewd Misbah Ul Haq and tried to established that Pakistan won the game becasue of the tosss. I was amazed that Misbah didn't understand Moody's intention and nicely fallen in to his trap. Pathetic.

Posted by Sajid Shah on (March 24, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

Ian Botham did right to Punch him right in his face !! Chappel would never in his life want an AFRIDI'S Punch, that might probably end his commentary career !!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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