Shahid Afridi May 10, 2011

A boy named Shahid

Also starring: Broady’s brain, and a mob of the great unwashed
37

Saturday, 7th May Shahid Afridi is a little boy, albeit a boy with a handsome beard and a mild case of media Tourette’s, but a boy nonetheless. He fidgets, he shouts, he claps, he swings wildly, he poses, he gabbles incessantly to his bowlers whether they like it or not. Life is a birthday party and he wants to open all his presents at once. Sometimes he gets a little over-tired, turns into Shahid Huffridi and stomps off in a sulk.

Naturally he wants to be in charge of picking the team. I’m sure he’d quite like to drive the bus too, and given half a chance, he’d take the kit home to wash, although he’d probably overdo the detergent, flood the kitchen, dismantle the washing machine, storm out of the house, come back half an hour later and try to eat one of the pipes before fixing everything with one hand whilst trying to break the world yo-yo record with the other.

Sadly it seems that Shahid is outliving his welcome in some quarters, which is a shame, so perhaps he should do the sensible thing and let Waqar have his say selection-wise. Besides, given some of the peculiar selections that Pakistan have come up with in recent months, you’d have thought a degree of plausible deniability would be useful to a captain. Don’t blame me, it was Waqar who picked the team…

Sunday, 8th May It did not occur to me last week, when the elevation of Broad jnr was announced, that there wasn’t in fact a vacancy for him to be promoted to. It had completely slipped my mind that England already had a Twenty20 captain, which is unforgivable, because he was rather a good one too. Wee Colly may not be pretty, but then in the credit column, he rarely pouts on the field of play, and he did bring home a trophy.

The old ginger stonewaller talked about his successor’s “fast-thinking brain”, which was decent of him, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story. The newest England captain does have a brain, we can be sure of that, but it’s a brain that throws up a range of thoughts, not all of which are absolutely top drawer, and some of which, if acted upon, can lead to a string of detentions and a severely reduced pocket money allowance.

Monday, 9th May Peter Roebuck has written an article in the Hindu criticising the scheduling of only two Tests between South Africa and Australia. It is a shame that these great cricket nations will not be playing more Tests, although the layman might humbly suggest that if people were interested in turning up to watch these matches, Cricket South Africa would be staging them. But then his article took an odd turn, thus:

“Cricket is not in its right mind. Instead it has been taken over by apologists whose thoughts turn to the frenzied mob and the bottom line.”

Hmm. Frenzied mob? Well no one likes a mob, and frenzied mobs are just about the worst kind of mob you can get. Shame on them, I thought. And then I started to think. How can we spot these mobs, so we can avoid them? Who are they? Where do they come from? And then it struck me. He means us. You and me.

But not all the time. Let me explain. If you troll along to a Test match in your best slacks, spiffing tie and panama, you’re a connoisseur of all that is noble and fine in the game and good luck to you. Well done. However, if the following month you take your seats in Bangalore to watch a Twenty20 game then you (yes you!) are a frenzied mob in the making. Frankly, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jane on June 24, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Never would have thunk I would find this so idnsipensable.

  • Tania on May 12, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Frenzied Mob? If that's what you call enjoying life, then so be it.

    I must try to make it to one of the matches at Lord's just to understand what is in all that. Are ladies allowed or do I need to disguise myself as a "gentleman"?

  • sachinbradman on May 12, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Lovely!!!!!! "Frankly, you should be ashamed of yourselves." Rofl!!!!

  • P Satish on May 11, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    Wonderful point about "frenzied mobs". Cricket now has an incurable superiority complex. It is most amongst Cricket's journalists/writers. They will write lines and lines of what is supposed to be cricket and what is not. However, what is lost is that Cricket is a sport and hence a form of entertainment. The format that entertains viewers is the best format.

  • rachit on May 11, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    brilliant!! i loved the riposte to roebuck's holier than thou lines! cricket is cricket...watever form...love it in all its ways...!

  • Md.Rafiqul Islam on May 11, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    he is the boy of handsome, wonder,Courageous,great leader. I think most of the women of this world like and love shahid afridi.he is the great destroyer of any bowler.After all he is the man of cricket.

  • Nirzhor hasan on May 11, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is one of my favourate cricketer.i love his bowling style and hair cut.

  • rizwan on May 11, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    shahid afridi is the best man in the world guys

  • sonia persaud on May 11, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    i think shahid afridi is trying. no need to embarass him like that.a game is won when a team proform.its not a one man game.the entire team need to improve not afridi alone.............

  • Anonymous on May 11, 2011, 0:23 GMT

    *yaaawn*

  • Jane on June 24, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Never would have thunk I would find this so idnsipensable.

  • Tania on May 12, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Frenzied Mob? If that's what you call enjoying life, then so be it.

    I must try to make it to one of the matches at Lord's just to understand what is in all that. Are ladies allowed or do I need to disguise myself as a "gentleman"?

  • sachinbradman on May 12, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Lovely!!!!!! "Frankly, you should be ashamed of yourselves." Rofl!!!!

  • P Satish on May 11, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    Wonderful point about "frenzied mobs". Cricket now has an incurable superiority complex. It is most amongst Cricket's journalists/writers. They will write lines and lines of what is supposed to be cricket and what is not. However, what is lost is that Cricket is a sport and hence a form of entertainment. The format that entertains viewers is the best format.

  • rachit on May 11, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    brilliant!! i loved the riposte to roebuck's holier than thou lines! cricket is cricket...watever form...love it in all its ways...!

  • Md.Rafiqul Islam on May 11, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    he is the boy of handsome, wonder,Courageous,great leader. I think most of the women of this world like and love shahid afridi.he is the great destroyer of any bowler.After all he is the man of cricket.

  • Nirzhor hasan on May 11, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is one of my favourate cricketer.i love his bowling style and hair cut.

  • rizwan on May 11, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    shahid afridi is the best man in the world guys

  • sonia persaud on May 11, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    i think shahid afridi is trying. no need to embarass him like that.a game is won when a team proform.its not a one man game.the entire team need to improve not afridi alone.............

  • Anonymous on May 11, 2011, 0:23 GMT

    *yaaawn*

  • cricketcritic on May 10, 2011, 23:40 GMT

    funny funny who cares about roebuck

  • Syed Tanzil on May 10, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    The most composed,well crafted & focused writing, on Shahid I have read.

  • Mohammed Amdani on May 10, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    How come all of you guys vocabulary turns sour when commenting about Pakistan or Pakistani players and you become, all of a sudden, very decent when talking about England or SA.

  • Bala on May 10, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    Why should Shahid Afridi have no right no make clear what he thinks, if he is not happy with the selection he should have the right to say it.

    I mean Andrew would you drive a car your wife has picked out for you no you wouldn't, because you want to drive what you prefer and think is right for you.. WELL why should AFRIDI lead a side he is not comfortable with and doesn't suit his gameplan???? He is the captain of the team not a spectator or so

  • Wasim Khan on May 10, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    Absolutely Hilarious.... Bravo..

  • Anonymous on May 10, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    i Agree, Shahid can act stupid at times, and mess up his reputation!! Why, esp. after all the hard work in the world cup?

  • Raj on May 10, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    A boy named Shahid, who likes to eat cricket balls.

  • Morfi on May 10, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    Broad is no different from Afridi if you weigh him on your criteria, Hughes. Barring the team selection bit, you could well swap the descriptions of the two above, and they would still be appropriate. In fact, give Broad a few months and even the selection bit will become true. And I agree with Roebuck - a 2 test series is a mockery of test cricket!! Any team playing tests should at least play 3 if not 4 or 5.

  • Muhammad Akhtar Sahil on May 10, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    Afridi is not a child anymore....... He is growing to be a kid inwards......:)

  • taqvis on May 10, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    Sorry to say Mr.Hughes but you dont know jack about PCB, waqar younis was never a successful captain and he was merely a fast bowler, a very dumb batsman. he never knows how to control the batting line up, Since he has been coach Pakistan has been loosing 20twenty miserably, he's been selecting cricketers over the age of 30 as fast bowler, he never had the vision to select the right fast bowler, moreover you have no idea that just like the country president the PCB chairman is a nut !

  • :D Ballack13 on May 10, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    lol He is The Best! :D

  • Saddique on May 10, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    A good article. The trouble with Shahid Afridi is that he is a Pathan, there is nothing with being a Pathan but like many Pathans he sees things black and white, full of passion, great entertainer but only good when he is doing well. I had hoped that by now he would have grown up and learnt from all the past masters but I think Afridi does not understand that there are 11 players in the team

  • Javed on May 10, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    thoughtful, strange, sensible and funny. there is something that keeps me reading one after another.

  • AbrKhalid on May 10, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Afridi is right about his allegations about Waqar. Who is Performing well then why He is sitting on benches? Pcb is headed by a Headless.

  • saad on May 10, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    He is a guy

  • Ayaz Ali Rajput on May 10, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    Afridi is more than a wickettaker, he should attain his batting force and inertia back! Like a true Pakistani.

  • Harxal on May 10, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    Lame beginning and strong end. Good form Hewgs. I actually agree with Roebuck. The administrators are more of businessmen and less of sport's guardians. If the stands are not packed and TRPs are not sky rocketing then they think the game is dying regardless of the fact that the associations are still making enough money to stay profitable. With this kind of attitude, Test Cricket will not survive because the administrators are hell bent on killing it. Five ODIs or five T20s will always make more money that a single five day Test match. This does not mean the Test match is causing financial loss but this is enough reason for these businessmen to finish Test Cricket. Only ECB, CA have people who appreciate the sanctity of Tests.

  • sohail Ahmed on May 10, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    i dont regret Afridi to be a sensible captain. first of all he hasnt become a player to whom u can believe,secondly a captain should always lead from the front & also he dosent have a good captain mind.A captain should always be positive in his approach, he should always make positive decision for the sake of the team.i have noticed his planning are always same, same batting order same bowling analysis. for my point of view Afridi is a total flop Skipper.

  • Faridoo on May 10, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Loved your take on Afridi, he is a hyperbunny. Cannot resist swinging away with abandon whether facing bowlers or mediafolk. So funny yet sad. Member of frenzied mob.

  • TheOne on May 10, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Great explanation of frenzied mob :)

  • Shavi on May 10, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Absolutely spot on with the Afridi comments!

  • Hameed A Sheikh on May 10, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Afridi is most selfish captain in cricket.He stops Razzaq from overtaking him in batting because he is afraid he might be overlooked as all rounder.He keeps his own motive above country,s dignity and pride.I think he should be sacked as a captain and player too.

  • aby on May 10, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    nice!

  • ali on May 10, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Hi Hughes...i like ur article specially the paragraph about Afridi , like to drive the bus too. really hilarious. He really need to grow up and specially need to recognise his batting talent which he is wasting.

  • yamin abbasi on May 10, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    Afridi should respect Waqar as a Coach, Ex. Captain and Senior Fellow. He should not bring the things in front of media and media give it new color. Team manager Intikhab Alam should solve the matter by dialogue.

  • danial on May 10, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    huh are you getting alit biot jelous he knows how to control the national team becaause he is getting help from the legends like imran khan and moen khan so i think you are getting jelous

  • Morad786 on May 10, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Comments re Afridi: I agree 100% as a Pakistani Supporter!

    Afridi needs to grow up and realise that he is not playing street/local cricket in Karachi!......

    As much as we all like him for his boom boom credentials, we are all hoping a little bit of consistency & maturity comes into his performance and attitude....blowing hot and cold both ON and OFF field does not do him and more importantly the Pakistan Team any favours!

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  • Morad786 on May 10, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Comments re Afridi: I agree 100% as a Pakistani Supporter!

    Afridi needs to grow up and realise that he is not playing street/local cricket in Karachi!......

    As much as we all like him for his boom boom credentials, we are all hoping a little bit of consistency & maturity comes into his performance and attitude....blowing hot and cold both ON and OFF field does not do him and more importantly the Pakistan Team any favours!

  • danial on May 10, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    huh are you getting alit biot jelous he knows how to control the national team becaause he is getting help from the legends like imran khan and moen khan so i think you are getting jelous

  • yamin abbasi on May 10, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    Afridi should respect Waqar as a Coach, Ex. Captain and Senior Fellow. He should not bring the things in front of media and media give it new color. Team manager Intikhab Alam should solve the matter by dialogue.

  • ali on May 10, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Hi Hughes...i like ur article specially the paragraph about Afridi , like to drive the bus too. really hilarious. He really need to grow up and specially need to recognise his batting talent which he is wasting.

  • aby on May 10, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    nice!

  • Hameed A Sheikh on May 10, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Afridi is most selfish captain in cricket.He stops Razzaq from overtaking him in batting because he is afraid he might be overlooked as all rounder.He keeps his own motive above country,s dignity and pride.I think he should be sacked as a captain and player too.

  • Shavi on May 10, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Absolutely spot on with the Afridi comments!

  • TheOne on May 10, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Great explanation of frenzied mob :)

  • Faridoo on May 10, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Loved your take on Afridi, he is a hyperbunny. Cannot resist swinging away with abandon whether facing bowlers or mediafolk. So funny yet sad. Member of frenzied mob.

  • sohail Ahmed on May 10, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    i dont regret Afridi to be a sensible captain. first of all he hasnt become a player to whom u can believe,secondly a captain should always lead from the front & also he dosent have a good captain mind.A captain should always be positive in his approach, he should always make positive decision for the sake of the team.i have noticed his planning are always same, same batting order same bowling analysis. for my point of view Afridi is a total flop Skipper.