June 11, 2012

The leggie trapped in a slogger's identity

Shahid Afridi's on-field persona and off-field drama have distracted us from the fact that he is essentially a game-changing wristspinner
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For most of his cricketing life, Shahid Afridi has had to contend with impossible expectations. After he smashed a new record for the fastest century in his very first outing at the crease, he was expected to do an encore each time he went out to bat. When he finally began concentrating on his legspinners and variations, he was expected to run through every batting line-up. After he took over the limited-overs captaincy, it was thought he would transform the team into a stick of dynamite. These are burdens that would have crushed any lesser mortal. Afridi has taken them in his stride.

Much of this has to do with his DNA. The Afridi tribe originated from brutal mountainous terrain overlapping Afghanistan and Pakistan. Even today, the name evokes ferocity, daring, and fearlessness. Shahid Afridi's approach to cricket has been nothing short of tribal warfare. Background, context, and meaning are pushed to the periphery. It's all about the immediacy of the challenge, the moment of conflict, the act of confrontation and battle.

It is an attitude that has carried him far. Afridi's 36 international Man-of-the-Match awards place him tenth in the overall list, ahead of the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Chris Gayle, and Muttiah Muralitharan. In T20Is, he has collected more match awards (seven) than any other cricketer - proof of his match-winning abilities.

He has hit more sixes in international cricket than anyone else, with no threat of being overtaken anytime soon, and has the the highest stike rate (by a distance) among players who have batted in at least 50 innings. In the list of fastest ODI hundreds, his name appears three times in the top seven; in the list of fastest ODI fifties, he appears five times in the top 12. He is eighth in the all-time list of most ODI wickets, ahead of Shane Warne and Saqlain Mushtaq, and behind only Akram and Waqar Younis from Pakistan.

He has a nose for the big moment. In 2009, Afridi lifted Pakistan to the World T20 title, with Man-of-the-Match performances in the semi-final and final. In 2011, he motivated a scandal-weary side to the semi-final of the World Cup, and could well have taken them beyond had his team-mates snapped up any one of Sachin Tendulkar's four chances in Mohali.

Yet for all his achievements, Afridi remains a terribly misunderstood and polarising figure. In the eyes of many Pakistan supporters, he is overrated, overhyped, and irresponsible, which is astonishing. Captains and coaches have invariably struggled with his stubbornness, and administrators have certainly never come to terms with his irrepressible independent streak. The previous PCB chief irked him so much that Afridi announced his retirement; the current one remains wary of him and has gagged him from talking to the media.

While there is also a large constituency united in blind adoration for Afridi, their intense devotion is inspired not so much by Afridi's match-winning ability or all-round repertoire as by his propensity for batting pyrotechnics. For this segment of the fan base, if Afridi gets out early, the known universe might as well collapse. It is not uncommon in Pakistan to see entire stadiums emptying out after Afridi has gone cheaply.

Wristspinners are supposed to be enigmatic and mysterious, but Afridi embellishes the art with threatening body language, combative appealing, and hostile eye contact as only an Afridi can

The perpetual irony of Afridi's career is that almost everything about him - explosive slogging from down the pitch, leonine prowling between cover and extra cover, moody portrayals in the media - has been a distraction from his authentic cricketing identity as a game-changing wristspinner.

He has a bag of tricks that would make Warne proud: a classic legbreak that heads towards first slip after pitching on middle or leg, a topspinner that jags up viciously from a length, a googly, a finger-spun offbreak that comes out of the blue, and a straight fast ball, hurled with the seam up. Wristspinners are supposed to be enigmatic and mysterious, but Afridi embellishes the art with threatening body language, combative appealing and hostile eye contact as only Afridi can.

It took a while for even Afridi to understand his true forte. Called up from the Pakistan Under-19s touring West Indies in late 1996, he earned national selection as a legspinning replacement for Mushtaq Ahmed, and in his first ODI innings he got to a hundred off 37 balls. This talent for clearing the sightscreen fetched him instant renown and made him a regular in the side; the legspinning identity was buried. Within two years, his bowling strike rate was hovering near 70, and his international bowling average had ballooned to over 54.

It's taken repeated batting disappointments and visceral revulsion from the fans over the better part of a decade for Afridi to finally embrace the bowler inside him. His bowling strike rate is now in the low 40s, and his international bowling average has come down to under 32. With such visible success, the fan base has also adjusted. His detractors remain, but they are increasingly marginalised.

Officially 32 years old, Afridi has reached the period when a cricketer begins to edge past his biological prime. Perhaps not so much in his bowling but to some extent at the batting crease, and certainly out in the field, age is starting show. You can tell that retirement - this time for real - can't be too far behind. Yet challenging opportunities are ahead for Afridi - the World Twenty20 in September, bilateral series with the likes of Australia and South Africa, and probably one other multi-nation tournament over the next couple of years.

In a recent media interview Afridi indicated that he has begun to reflect on his legacy. Revealing deep ambitions, he said he wants to be remembered with the kind of reverence that is accorded Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, and Wasim Akram. That may be too far into the stratosphere even for Afridi, but the perch he eventually comes to occupy will be lofty indeed. He has served Pakistan with enormous impact, ability and drive, and he definitely has the star wattage. He will go down as one of the great X-factor players for sure, a tremendously skilled limited-overs specialist - certainly one of the best.

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TILA10 on February 11, 2015, 17:02 GMT

    brilliant article...

  • on June 14, 2012, 20:08 GMT

    Well write :) Superb articale to tribute BOOM BOOM Afridi ...

  • g.narsimha on June 14, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    WICKYROYPAKLOVER -YAA when we do some thing remarkable than the team were weak at that time blah,, more over u never responded with stats even now u r on are old song we won, all we are second blah,, i am talking over all wins against these teams not % in my erlier post i proved it with stats , INDIA WAS THE OLNY TEAM WHICH NOT ONLY CHALLENGED THE MIGHTY WINDIES & AUS DURING thier vworld domination in home & away INDIA BEAT WI IN WIDIES ,beat LLOYD TEAM IN 83 , AUS could not win any thing against us during those dominating period i have stats , i am not here to demean u as u are diong on our players, we love u r players but the way u people branding our greats that hurts , few of ur post rubbishes our players as home track bullies now to prove IMRAANS greatness u r saying he was bowling on un resposive subcontinental pitches than he was home tiger , no he was a great player along with other all rounders of his era thats it. THE STATS PROVED SIR HADLEE WAS A SUPERIOR BOWLER .

  • on June 13, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    just want to say Be Afridi Be very Afridi !!!

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 13, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    @g.narisma,ur argument regardng hadle beter than imran z highly flawd 4 folowng reasns,1.imran have far superior avrage at subcntinent n hadlee strugld here,check avrags of both against great windies of 80's,imran was way ahead of hadle as an alroundr whil both were reasnably equal with bal,2.imran had d edge ovr hadle 4 simpl reasn,hadlee enjoyd mostly gd bowlng cnditns whil imran prformd far wel on sbcntinent (check stats),3.murali averags lowr than warne,who z betr?i gues it z prsnal choice bt imran was no way leser than hadlee,importantly,imran z d best evr captain to lead a team on earth

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 13, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    @g.narisma,my friend i have always responded u but somehow u didn't want to get it.I Have respndid u many a times that our record against eng,wi, r way way beter than urs.AUS z always been a bug bear 4 al sbcntinental teams includng us,u indians jst keep whining about cb series 2008 when aus were weakest by their standards,pak won an odi series in 2002 in indor melbourne stadim,so case z neutralizd,all these great batsmen,great bowlrs phenomenon hav evrythng to deal with match wining ratios,pak have 3rd bst in tests 2nd best in odis aftr aus,what else u want 4rm our team,whil ur team have worst in tests,we havn't plyd too much against sa

  • g.narsimha on June 13, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    WICKYROYPAKLOVER-SINCE U HAVE DECLARED THAT IMRAANKHAAN was best among yesteryears greats like SIR HADLEE, MARSHAL etc i have checked the stat guru & found that SIR HADLEE is far superior bowler than IMRAAM (no disrespect to him as u people alway out here on our players ) stats- SIR HADLEE-TEST-86-W-431-BB-9/55-AVE-22.29-5W-36,10W-9,ODI-115-W-158-BB-5/25-AVE-21, 5W5times , IMRAAN-TEST-88-W-362-BB-8/58-AVE-22.81-5W-23, 10W-6-odis-175-W-182-BB-6-14-AVE-26.61-5W-1-I just drawn these stats to put the things in right perspective as u made unrealistic claims above.while IMARAAN had the luxiry of able partners in SARFARAJ, LATER WASIM at other ends to maitain pressure from both ends but HADLEE never had such an advantage as his bowling partners were average bowlers REG SACHIN -AFRIDI i had stats to prove u wrong but be happy on u r self appaisal .

  • Noball_Specialist on June 13, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Wow - great writing. Thanks.

  • g.narsimha on June 13, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    WICKY ROY PAK LOVER - WE NEVER EVER compare u r players with ours & rubbish them , the cricketing world EX PLAYERS EXPERTS EVEN SIR DONALD BRADMAN already expressed on SACHIN BRADMAN said he was seeing HIMSELF in SACHIN ,thats enough rest is meaning less we can sream at the top of our throat that our players are the best but the neutrals are the best judges I DONT THINK SACHIN requires certificates , reg u r assertion that AFRIDI win once in every 2-3 , & sachin once in 100, the stats available in this site tells deferent story , but i am also not in favour of copmarisions , i always posed just one question to u sever times in deferent pages u never responded if u r players are the best, world beaters & ours are useless than where r the results ,u r team stands now , how many series wins in AUS, SA ENG, WI . WITH STATS I PROVED THAT WE WON MORE MATCHES AGAINST THESE TEAMS . MORE OVER U R claims that SACHIN IS BORING , IN T-20 ODIS BLAH,,,, he is not a regular in these forme

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 13, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    @IndiaRulesEverybody,ur comment z gd enuff to provok a great amount of laughtr in me.R U SERIOUS,SAchin greater than wasim,sachin greater than imran,imran z arguebly d greatest alroundrs of al times pls he was easily d best bowler among hadlee ,marshal,sachn may b A "GOD" 4 a certain proportn of indian populatn bt certainly he has earnd fame nt even half of what wasim,imran achieve outshde their home grounds,sachn's prime z finisd well about 6 yrs ago n he z jst a liablity in ind's odi,t20 team,he z one of most boring plyr 4 t20 along kalis,n what about wasim akran,"THE KING OF SWING N VARIETY",I THNK SACHN MAY B half as gd as these 2 legends.AFridi wins about 2to 3 matchs out of 10 with bat while sachin makes ind win 2 in 100 matchs.AS SIMPLE AS THAT

  • TILA10 on February 11, 2015, 17:02 GMT

    brilliant article...

  • on June 14, 2012, 20:08 GMT

    Well write :) Superb articale to tribute BOOM BOOM Afridi ...

  • g.narsimha on June 14, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    WICKYROYPAKLOVER -YAA when we do some thing remarkable than the team were weak at that time blah,, more over u never responded with stats even now u r on are old song we won, all we are second blah,, i am talking over all wins against these teams not % in my erlier post i proved it with stats , INDIA WAS THE OLNY TEAM WHICH NOT ONLY CHALLENGED THE MIGHTY WINDIES & AUS DURING thier vworld domination in home & away INDIA BEAT WI IN WIDIES ,beat LLOYD TEAM IN 83 , AUS could not win any thing against us during those dominating period i have stats , i am not here to demean u as u are diong on our players, we love u r players but the way u people branding our greats that hurts , few of ur post rubbishes our players as home track bullies now to prove IMRAANS greatness u r saying he was bowling on un resposive subcontinental pitches than he was home tiger , no he was a great player along with other all rounders of his era thats it. THE STATS PROVED SIR HADLEE WAS A SUPERIOR BOWLER .

  • on June 13, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    just want to say Be Afridi Be very Afridi !!!

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 13, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    @g.narisma,ur argument regardng hadle beter than imran z highly flawd 4 folowng reasns,1.imran have far superior avrage at subcntinent n hadlee strugld here,check avrags of both against great windies of 80's,imran was way ahead of hadle as an alroundr whil both were reasnably equal with bal,2.imran had d edge ovr hadle 4 simpl reasn,hadlee enjoyd mostly gd bowlng cnditns whil imran prformd far wel on sbcntinent (check stats),3.murali averags lowr than warne,who z betr?i gues it z prsnal choice bt imran was no way leser than hadlee,importantly,imran z d best evr captain to lead a team on earth

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 13, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    @g.narisma,my friend i have always responded u but somehow u didn't want to get it.I Have respndid u many a times that our record against eng,wi, r way way beter than urs.AUS z always been a bug bear 4 al sbcntinental teams includng us,u indians jst keep whining about cb series 2008 when aus were weakest by their standards,pak won an odi series in 2002 in indor melbourne stadim,so case z neutralizd,all these great batsmen,great bowlrs phenomenon hav evrythng to deal with match wining ratios,pak have 3rd bst in tests 2nd best in odis aftr aus,what else u want 4rm our team,whil ur team have worst in tests,we havn't plyd too much against sa

  • g.narsimha on June 13, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    WICKYROYPAKLOVER-SINCE U HAVE DECLARED THAT IMRAANKHAAN was best among yesteryears greats like SIR HADLEE, MARSHAL etc i have checked the stat guru & found that SIR HADLEE is far superior bowler than IMRAAM (no disrespect to him as u people alway out here on our players ) stats- SIR HADLEE-TEST-86-W-431-BB-9/55-AVE-22.29-5W-36,10W-9,ODI-115-W-158-BB-5/25-AVE-21, 5W5times , IMRAAN-TEST-88-W-362-BB-8/58-AVE-22.81-5W-23, 10W-6-odis-175-W-182-BB-6-14-AVE-26.61-5W-1-I just drawn these stats to put the things in right perspective as u made unrealistic claims above.while IMARAAN had the luxiry of able partners in SARFARAJ, LATER WASIM at other ends to maitain pressure from both ends but HADLEE never had such an advantage as his bowling partners were average bowlers REG SACHIN -AFRIDI i had stats to prove u wrong but be happy on u r self appaisal .

  • Noball_Specialist on June 13, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Wow - great writing. Thanks.

  • g.narsimha on June 13, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    WICKY ROY PAK LOVER - WE NEVER EVER compare u r players with ours & rubbish them , the cricketing world EX PLAYERS EXPERTS EVEN SIR DONALD BRADMAN already expressed on SACHIN BRADMAN said he was seeing HIMSELF in SACHIN ,thats enough rest is meaning less we can sream at the top of our throat that our players are the best but the neutrals are the best judges I DONT THINK SACHIN requires certificates , reg u r assertion that AFRIDI win once in every 2-3 , & sachin once in 100, the stats available in this site tells deferent story , but i am also not in favour of copmarisions , i always posed just one question to u sever times in deferent pages u never responded if u r players are the best, world beaters & ours are useless than where r the results ,u r team stands now , how many series wins in AUS, SA ENG, WI . WITH STATS I PROVED THAT WE WON MORE MATCHES AGAINST THESE TEAMS . MORE OVER U R claims that SACHIN IS BORING , IN T-20 ODIS BLAH,,,, he is not a regular in these forme

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 13, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    @IndiaRulesEverybody,ur comment z gd enuff to provok a great amount of laughtr in me.R U SERIOUS,SAchin greater than wasim,sachin greater than imran,imran z arguebly d greatest alroundrs of al times pls he was easily d best bowler among hadlee ,marshal,sachn may b A "GOD" 4 a certain proportn of indian populatn bt certainly he has earnd fame nt even half of what wasim,imran achieve outshde their home grounds,sachn's prime z finisd well about 6 yrs ago n he z jst a liablity in ind's odi,t20 team,he z one of most boring plyr 4 t20 along kalis,n what about wasim akran,"THE KING OF SWING N VARIETY",I THNK SACHN MAY B half as gd as these 2 legends.AFridi wins about 2to 3 matchs out of 10 with bat while sachin makes ind win 2 in 100 matchs.AS SIMPLE AS THAT

  • mtalhas on June 13, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    karthik666-bro agree with u but it depends on how we define a great and a good..there have been so many greats who still failed to achieve some or the other thing (due to their own blunders or mismanagement by the boards) but still went on and became legends. its up to every individual whether they rate him as overhyped/good/great and it may be debated where he will stand but its a fact that his presence both as a cricketer and as an entertainer remains unmatched. he may be widely criticized for his performances but when he walks in to the arena, everyone (inclusive of his critics) have a hope that he might do wonders, and when he does, then he proves that there will never be such a cricketer again!

  • on June 13, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    we most of pakistani watch crickt kust because of shahid afridi, he is not only a best allrounder in the world but he is croud puller anywhere in the world ,. and do remember that he has a vast charity .......... when he will retire we will stop watching crickt

  • Desihungama on June 13, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    I must also add that he has never missed a match in his playing career and is considered one of the most fittest players among the current lot. At least, we see some consistency there. Him and Sachin in their legacies wont compete but complement each other.

  • karthik666 on June 13, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    mtalhas - u have written " on him as his talent has never been fully understood and utilized " - clearly u agree that he has not played upto his potential .. tats the difference between a good player and a great player

  • pa99 on June 13, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    As an Indian I am getting a little tired of Sachin's name popping up everywhere. Yes, he is a great batsman and yes, he is also a great role model but for God's sake lets get a few things clear: 1. he cannot run as fast as Usain Bolt 2. he is not as pretty as Nicole Kidman 3. he cannot make scambled eggs on toast like my wife does 4. he cannot program in C++ like my son does 5. he will never play Hamlet. Ever. and, finally, I doubt if he can sing Waltzing Matilda :)

    Dear countrymen, give it a rest, stop the jingoism and take delight in one of the most brilliant, mercurial and misunderstood all-rounders - Shahid Afridi of Pakistan.

    Pervez

  • mtalhas on June 13, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    I dont know why on every page people pop up for whom team india, in fact every team including the world XI of all times should be made of 11 players named Sachin Tendulkar. People are trying to compare afridi with tendulkar..tendulkar may be a great for the entire population of india..but outside india, at least in pakistan, he is usually considered a boring cricketer whose prime time is already gone. afridi is a different class as compared to tendulkar and a great entertainer, a level which tendulkar is nowhere near to. No disrespect to tendulkar and his fans, but it is completely irrelevant and nonsensical to compare him with afridi. we criticise afridi and feel pity on him as his talent has never been fully understood and utilized but we all know that once he retires, there will never be a cricketer like him again.

  • DaGameChanger on June 13, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    You can twist stats as much as you want...Afridi will remain Over-rated, Over-hyped for rest of the world..You forgot to say how many games he has played and how many he has actually won...

  • India_Rules_Everybody on June 13, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    @Jahanzeb Abbas Lasi - Even though I am a big fan of Afridi, no matter which country he would have been born, he would never ever have been bigger than Afridi. Even Pakistani greats like Imran Khan and Wasim Akram are no where close to what Sachin Tendulkar is. I am not belittling either of them but the fact is that Sachin Tendulkar is in the elitest of elite group. Shahid Afridi really is not even into the elite group. He is a good striker of the ball who can bowl well. That is it.

  • wrenx on June 12, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    @Nadeem1976 of course, other than that freakish innings in the NZ match that beat Pak comprehensively. Although, Afridi had just finished hammering NZ throughout the tour earlier that year, so maybe he wasn't quite up for that game

  • wrenx on June 12, 2012, 23:22 GMT

    @RockcityGuy not sure what your point is, but you're right, no comparison between Sachin and Afridi. For one, exactly 0 of Sachin's MOM awards have come from his fielding or his bowling, only from batting at the top of the order. The two aren't even close - I'd give 12 Sachin's for 1 Afridi in my team

  • Rexton87 on June 12, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    I agree with most of the article. Afridi no doubt brings a positive energy to the team's effort and has been instrumental in winning the T 20 world cup IN 2009 almost single handedly. Yet with all the adulation we should also remeber that he has let Pakistan down at critical times with his irresponsible shots.I can count no less than 50 ODI and t20 matches where his careless shots cost the match. With so much international experience he should know how to avoid spooning easy catches.

  • ejsiddiqui on June 12, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    It astonishes me when people compare Afridi (Bowling All rounder) with a specialist batsman. Afridi is not a specialist batsman, he is a complete package. A brilliant bowler, an excellent fielder, a very good late order hard hitting batsman and a very good captain. No one can match the charisma and X-factor which he has. His presence always give me a feel good factor and make me think that nothing is impossible as long as he is their. Forget statistics, his no of man of the match awards tell that how impactful he is. Afridi we love you.

  • on June 12, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    i will watch pakistan till the afridi plays

  • Nadeem1976 on June 12, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    I don't care what afridi do or do not do any thing now, he has already won a WC T2020 for us, which is enough to prove his greatness in shortest format of the game. As captain in WC 2011 his team did not lose a single match until the big SF against india. It was not afridi fault that we lost that match.

    Afridi is entertaining cricketer and i rank him as one the greatest allrounders in short form of cricket. best in T2020 ever and top 5 in ODI.

    He is not sloger, he is just BOOM BOOM. I don't see any problem in Afridi. Live long Lala.

  • warneneverchuck on June 12, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    When it comes to most popular cricketer in terms of number of fans no body can come close to the great SRT. Comparing afraid with sachin iis like comparing pollard with sir viv

  • warneneverchuck on June 12, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    When it comes to most popular cricketer in terms of number of fans no body can come close to the great SRT. Comparing afraid with sachin iis like comparing pollard with sir viv

  • on June 12, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    A guy who can bat, bowl and field....He will be in my playing 11 for sure!! A true asset to Pakistani team..but just like Wasim, Waqar, Saqlian, Saeed Anwar, Rana Naved, Razaq, Sami.......all these names were never given the true respect that they deserved. If he was an Indian, he would have been bigger than Sachin....thats a fact!!!

  • on June 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    DUDE !! It Seems You Have Forgotten Sanath JAYASURIYA LOL!

  • on June 12, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    afridi 1 of the best of the best...............all rounder

  • on June 12, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    There is no doubt that Afridi is a match winner. In addition to that He is a player which brings with him the positive energy which helps other players as well. Afridi is such a delight to watch, I have followed him since my childhood, through his ups & downs, He has proven himself time & time again. In my opinion he is the best player presently in Pakistan team. His presence in field brings charm & infact a purpose to watch cricket.

  • Sakul_Gupta on June 12, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    To the Lads who say Sachin has more Man of teh matches that Afridi, look at where Sachin has had teh luxury to bat all his career. At No 1. Sahibzada Sahid Khan Afridi is a REAL team man. One may whose INTEGRITY, no sun of a whitch can doubt. He is teh real sun of a Gun. If he wants his legacy to be remembered with the likes of Imran Khan, then mate fight for a higher batting position. I agree opener or 1 down, is only suitable for the BIG Mastero. The 2ns ODI agaings Lanka was lost in teh first 25-30 overs, such slow that next 20 overs have to be @10 per over, is not achievable. Let Afridi come up and bat during the first 20 overs and see the difference. Again some leggies one sees going down teh leg for wides or easy runs, thats one point for him to improve. Rest he can best fit or perform when he is rightly honoured with teh captian role. Saw how he got angry with Misbah for teh field positioning in 2nd match. He lost a great chance to equal Imran's legacy when teh team lost semis

  • productivity on June 12, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    What a impact player. AFRIDI is just like a MERADONA & ZAIDAN for cricket. He is a real crowed puller......... We will miss afridi when he retires.

  • Mr.Gibbs on June 12, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    A true chamption..i support Pak jst cuz of Afridi, and if hes not there pakistan is nothing!

  • g.narsimha on June 12, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    KIWIRACKER -How can u compare a player who played just 27 tests with SAHWAAG& SACHIN & declare he is better than them as if he won every match he figured for pak, the player primarily a plaayer who is aroud more than 15 fears in internartional cricket, played 344 odis taking 345 wicketts at 34 ave just one wicket for every match so no camarision with even an ave, players of his era.

  • rayfanatics on June 12, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    The author has romanticized someone who has essentially been a pretty irresponsible team player and one of the frustrating stories of Pakistan cricket. Afridi has constantly changed his role in the team depending on the art he is currently having success in. Saad should have used his strike rate in context forgetting to mention an inferior average. Surely comparing himself to Imran is an insult to the great all rounder and the game itself.

  • on June 12, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Afiridi is like a pole for cricket, it would be a disaster if he retires in cricket world....

  • Naveed85 on June 12, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    he is a true match winner . unlike sachin and sehwag when they score centuries team loses . last 4 years afridi has turned in to a terrific bowler . now more odi wickets than warne and kumble .. best spinner after saqlain

    most popular player ex. even newzealnd fan like kiwirocker also supporting afridi

  • on June 12, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    Very Good Article....Please give Afridi Captaincy for T20 World Cup and He should Open the Inning with Nazir....

  • khurramsch on June 12, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    he certainly has much more ability to bat well than he is doing at moment. all he needs some sensible batting like we have seen a few days ago in 2nd t20. BUT he is more bowler these days than a batsman. & the soor we fans understand that he is bowling allrounder ( who can bat sometimes & bowl good regularly) the better. its just that fans take him as batting allrounder & expect to smash 100 each time.

  • on June 12, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    when after LaLa retires! i also end my carrier from watching cricket.

  • on June 12, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    truly professional, Charismatic, highly ranked, majestic & Magnetic, powerful & fighter, true patriot who always entered the arena to win games for Pakistan. for me no one can contribute as much as Afridi has done so far. He claimed 36 man of the matches in all three formats, almost 350 one day wickets, 56 t20 wickets & above 7000 thousand runs. what a great achievement which is still glowing & INSHALLAH will ends up with the glory of unbelievable achievements. we all love you & want to see you playing till 2019 worldcup. you are a true legend & world class super star who inspite of low batting average has won so many matches for Pakistan. we all love you shahid Afridi a real super star of world cricket.

  • Jamshed78 on June 11, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    If Afridi is not in Limmited over match there is no match . . . . .

  • Fahad_Imam on June 11, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    @ SRPP.. i really appreciate ur comments nd quite glad to know as u a true cricket lover without any bias ..thanz fr ur such warm wishes fr Pak and esp Afridi ..i totally agree frm u that we all Pakistanis should give respect to the cricket legends sachin,shewag,dravid , yuvraj ....as most pakistanies love indian cricketers too ..dravid is my personal fav bastman fr all time and i miss him too much ...hope fr most strengthen relationship b/w the cricket lovers of both countries

  • on June 11, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    He is kind of a Player that every team needs in their side. He is a Complete Package. A perfect Bowler, Sharp Fielder, Great Hitter of the Ball, a Fine Finisher and an Aggressive and devoted Captain. It annoys me when someone criticizes his actions, come on he is kind of a Person who do what ever he want to do and that's the way He want to live and that's why I like him the Most, Aggressive and Confident. May Allah give him more Strength and Healthy Life so that we can see more and more of him. " Lala Rocks ".

  • on June 11, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Fearless cricketer, who brings a lot of energy to Pakistan team and also to world cricket. a spinner so aggressive that he charges in like a pacer and follows up with exhilarating appeals. He has transformed into a better players since he dropped down the batting order and focused more on his bowling. People in Pakistan even who have least attachment to cricket, have high expectations from Afridi. From a primary school kid to a retired uncle all want him to play aggressive and that pressure has killed Afridi on a number of occasions. He is a living legend, we are proud of you lala.

  • warneneverchuck on June 11, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    He is just an ordinary player who is scared of test cricket.

  • anonyzious on June 11, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Even thinking about Afridi retiring saddens me...

  • EmmXee on June 11, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    For Mr. Watmore & Misbah, I believe Afridi is a far better batsman than many others in the team but playing him lower the order hurts his performance and eventually he has to play in the pressure always mostly while chasing the target when top order and middle actually fails and most of the time they fail to do the job. I suggest you to send Afridi up the order may be opener or one down to get the job done for Pakistan while chasing specially, however he may be sent down the order if batting first.

  • on June 11, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    @Kiwirocker u seen the best player polls at the big bash earlier this year? all the players had 3-9% of the vote. Afridi had close to 50%. dont beleive me? check out the big bash website. And all this even though he didnt perform well. i think OZ likes him more than v do

  • shanazbhat1 on June 11, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    cricket without afridi not cricket---LONG LIVE AFRIDI

  • attilathecricketer on June 11, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    I have always been a bit of a sceptic towards Afridi. His reported attitude didn't seem to help a not always stable Pakistan side (e.g. the retirements). However, I will never forget being at Sharjah last year and seeming him turn the game with bat and ball. Only Flintoff in 2005 has matched him in my experience for excitement.

  • ejsiddiqui on June 11, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    It astonishes me when people compare Afridi (Bowling All rounder) with a specialist batsman. Afridi is not a specialist batsman, he is a complete package. A brilliant bowler, an excellent fielder, a very good late order hard hitting batsman and a very good captain. No one can match the charisma and X-factor which he has. His presence always give me a feel good factor and make me think that nothing is impossible as long as he is their. Forget statistics, his no of man of the match awards tell that how impactful he is. Afridi we love you.

  • RockcityGuy on June 11, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    @kiwi rocker...afridi has 36 mom awards in 420 odd matches...sachin 76 in 620 odd matches...do the calculation for yourself...its pure folly to even speak of afridi in the same breath as sachin..or even sehwag who is one of 4 batsman to hit 2 triple hundreds in tests...

  • SRPP on June 11, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    I am an Indian and Love Team India. After My team I love most is Pakistan. Sahid Afridi is Charismatic cricketer. I love the way he plays. If hande and treat carefully like other boards taking care their Iconic players he would have been top of the world. I wish him all the best in future and want to see him play atleast 10 year more for his country and for IPL also. I have one humble request to Pakistani fans please don't discredit our heroes like Sachin , Sehvag and others. I understand how big Afridi for you. Same feelings we Indians have for our proud heroes. Don't compare them. Just cheear for good cricketers no matter form which country they are. Great article to tribute to AFRIDI.

  • SyedAbidHussain on June 11, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    There cannot be another Afridi

  • on June 11, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    lala z even better than wasim,miandad n other many heroes.......fearing abt da day,when he gets retire...:(

  • Rolling_in_The_Deep on June 11, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    A very Well Written Article.. Shahid Afridi is Indeed a Living Legend and I must say he is a heartbeat of Pakistan's ODI and T20 Teams. His ferocius Assualt on bowlers around the globe is a treat for any cricket lover. I cant forget his 6 For against mighty australians in Dubai 2008 and I think that was the match from where we have seen the rebirth of Afridi - the legspinner. He is a Team man hungry for a win and prowling like a panther in the field. God Bless u Afridi.. You are truely there in the league of Imran Khan, Miandad, Waseem and Waqar..Cricket would be less entertaining without your hulking figure in the field..

  • on June 11, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    he is the best, he got everything in his life, like records, honesty etc.

  • on June 11, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    First of all i want to congr8s Mr. Saad Shafqat for gathering alots of information about BOOM BOOM esp abt his tribe (DNA etc).Well i himself is a crickter & also watching cricket from 1989,i seriously observe & enjoy cricket,i saw lot of cricketers comming & going,But i don't know y i rank Afridi No-1 in my category list.he is a match winner that can turn the match all alone,this is the sign of a true star & Yes SHAHID KHAN AFRIDI is a STAR & all time super hero of PAKISTAN !!! Love U Afridi 4m the core of my HEART.

  • on June 11, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    I would like to see an international eleven consisting of players like Gayle, Sehwag, Warner, Dilshan, KP, Devilliers, Afridi, Dhoni, Steyn, Morkel, and Malinga -- playing a team from "The Rest"! Either an ODI or T-20!

  • PakFan1209 on June 11, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    @Aditya Singh who looks at his batting average at least he is a match winning player he is better than sachin tendulkar who just plays for himself and his centuries always make india lose lolzz and remember afridis 45 ball hundred against india he destroyed all indian bowlers

  • productivity on June 11, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Very well said Saad. no dout AFRIDI as one of the biggest croud puller in the world. clearly one of the best allarounder in the world. He always looks anthusiastic and performs well. 10Dulker & average player like gambir can never match AFRIDI's & Akhter class. He ends the career of many players like Irfan Pathan & Balaji. .................................Word can't explain AFRIDI's worth LOVE you BOOOOOOOOOOOOM BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

  • Just_Love_Cricket on June 11, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    @KiwiRocker > Afridi never won the MOS in Australia. That was Abdul Razzaq. But the article itself is very well written. A great tribute to a wonderful player. No Doubt cricket would be less exciting without Afrdi.

  • AmjadZork on June 11, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Afridi is the best.... & they say he is not a Legend. I started watching cricket bcoz of him... i literally hated cricket b4 he came !!

  • on June 11, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Afridi's mediocre batting average may put off some ppl but the fact remains that an Afridi onslaught can turn the match on its head. Shahid Afridi has single-handedly won matches for Pakistan, including the recent T20 against SL. Not many players can do that.

  • on June 11, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    He is a born cricket pedigree... and the "LAST MAN STANDING".. in crisis..

  • Mansoor.Subhani on June 11, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    As his cricinfo profile says.......cricket has never and will never see a cricketer like him......one of the most genuine allrounders who can win u a games on their very own.....and he has gone past all others as being the only allrounder to have scored a 50 and bagged 5for in the same ODI twice....thats some record!!!And well a hanky panky batsman cant score 50 runs or plus on 39 occasions,hit almost 300 sixes at the international arena and take excess of 300 wickets with 8 5fors....not to mention his 111 catches.

  • Hassan.Farooqi on June 11, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    People failing to understand the fans of Afridi do not realize that cricket is an entertainment business, and nobody entertains like Afridi. He plays for the entertainment of cround and TV viewers, not for statisticians who watch the average after the match is over. I see a similarity with Mohammed Ali of boxing. Both are considered highly overrated and overhyped by their critics, both clashed with the administration and survived, and both filled the arenas like no other did.

  • Pavan_15 on June 11, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Very interesting article. I must admit that, being an indian, i personally enjoy afridi's batting, bowling, infact just his presence in the team. Because he himself brings in a lot of passion and a different approach to the game.Looking at the stat that pakistan have won 5 out of 6 times when afridi scored a century, And every time he takes the ball, he has got something for the team, Simply saying he is one of the most dangerous and Unpredictable player in the paskitan team! If he contributes,pak wins (Definitely for sure). But the problem has been that he couldn't sustain that way, if you see the stats, a person like afridi who played 340+ ODI matches and of such damaging batting ability we don't expect him to be scoring only 6 centuries. In the period of 96 - 2005, i think he just lost his way in between don't know the exact reason whether he has been under-used or came very low down d order or pressure factor, but i hope he fires and continues that fire in every match!!

  • KiwiRocker- on June 11, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Afridi is one of those odd players who are liked by the fans eveyrwhere they go. Even opposition fans get excited whenever they see a player like Afridi. I think it is non sensical to compare likes of Sehwag to Afridi. Sehwag has scored tons but won nothing of note for India. Afridi is more in class of all rounders like Gary Sobers and Imran Khan. He only plays to win as the article suggests. Lets put this way, I shall pay to watch Afridi scoring 20 useful runs on 5 balls rather than a so called God or Genius of cricket scoringa worthless hundred against B;desh to boast his own career while the team fails. Afridi should be compared to no one. Indian fans have a habit to throw random sloggers like Yousaf Pathan and start comparing them to Afridi!..Afridi has been playing cricket longer than likes of Sehwag, Dhoni, and so on and he is a warrior and battle hardened cricketer of 90's era. I hope Afridi plays on until 2015 and wins REAL WC for Pak ( Again in NZ and Australia)!

  • on June 11, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is the reason I watch cricket, the man is a legend and as shown by him resigning the Test captaincy after the first test in England - later a decision shown to be justified after spot fixing was exposed, not prone to the temptations of corruption prevalent in the Pakistani team. A great bowler, batsman and fielder but more so an irrepressible character that makes you proud to be part of "his" gang. A unifying figure that all Pakistanis can gather around, personally some of my favorite cricketing memories have involved this man and long may that continue.

  • on June 11, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    It's a shame Afridi does not play Test Cricket as a specialist bowler. He has a decent batting record and could be a handy number 7 or 8. If he had realised his bowling prowess earlier, he could well have bagged 300+ Test wickets. He could be a perfect foil for Ajmal and would be great to see the two bowling in tandem in whites.

  • KiwiRocker- on June 11, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    A very well written article from Saad who is definitely one of the better writers around here. It gets very boring reading pro Indian and pro IPL worthless articles. I will also add that Afridi was Man of the series back in 1997 when Pakistan first won a series in Australia. Afridi also scored that memorable 141 against India in a test match. I do not care what an average fan thinks about Afridi but for me Afridi does what a player should do and that is winning. I have often commented that cricket is a team game and winning is all that matters. England's rugby team in 2003 won despite being an average team but they played to win. Afridi does exactly the same. Afridi does not care about batting records, bowling heroics, and tons. All he cares is winning. Afridi has won more matches than Tendulya and Sehwag put together and that is something. Afridi belongs to 90's era and has fought many battles. It is amusing when average Jo's like Gambhir try to compete with players like Afridi..

  • HawksEyeFocused on June 11, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    He's a live legend!!! He will be remembered with Imran Khan, Wasim,Waqar,Richards,Miandad,Ponting,Saeed Anwar,Inzamam,M.Yousaf and Shoaib Akhtar till the wolrd exists!!!

  • MAK123 on June 11, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    I remember when he fell on his knee while chasing a boundary ball in England - and how I felt a thud in my heart. That dreadful event when Michael Vaughan fell in identical fashion in Pakistan that effectively finished his career being still fresh in one's mind. Thank goodness Afridi is still there a little while more.

  • on June 11, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    International cricket would never be the same when he retires that's for sure.. I rate him as one of the most famous cricketers of all time , he is blessed with immense talent and charisma..

  • on June 11, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is a complete cricketer.In every part of cricket you will see his name in record books.He is great player and fantastic human being as well.He is heart of Pakistan.I promise after Afridi retirement other will be very few people to watch Pakistan match without Boom Boom. (Afridi we love you)

  • on June 11, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    A lovely article indeed...that really sums up wat worth Afridi has for not only cricket of Pakistan rather for Pakistan as a nation... he has made us proud when the whole nation was down and out on the international stage... He was the one that has given us the hope that Pakistan can still be a sparkelling star if we are upto prove ourselves from the heart... Bravo Afridi...we are indeed pround of u :)

  • on June 11, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Game-changing wristspinner - and that too in pyjama cricket - who averages over 40 with the ball against the top 8 nations...ha.

  • umairasgharbutt on June 11, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    such players like boom boom born once in centuries ! long live boom boom

  • on June 11, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Statistics should have no bearing on the value that Afridi brings into the team. You look at Flintoff's averages, pretty unspectacular, but it was what he can do, and invariably did do after that summer of 2005 which makes him a matchwinner. The consistant inconsistancies of Afridi is what makes him a matchwinner. Unfullfiled talent, certainly. But that isn't always down to Shahid, some of the blame must be put upon the PCB as well. They have had the misfortune of mismanaging three brilliant allrounders of the late 90s- Afridi, Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood. All these days (Azhar less so as he is coming to the end of his career) are pegged as pretty much one day specialists which is a shame as they could have offered so much in the longer format of the game as well. So take note ECB, with Chris Woakes, do not peg him as a one day player. The fact of the matter is that his performances and averages indicate that he is certainly the opposite!

  • WildAmigo on June 11, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    @Aditiya Singh.. May be u should asked Indian bowlers specially Balaji for that.. Afridi end his career and so many other of urs.. lol

  • stormy16 on June 11, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    One of his kind and the opponents always know that to beat Pakistan you have to get rid of Afridi. Fortunately for the rest of us Afridi seems never reluctant to hit the self destruct button but what a player he is. I feel Pakistan should have and still can get more out of him. He bats too low in the order for me and has opened for Pakistan in the past so capable of batting anywhere. He is easily the best leg spinner in the world (limited overs as he doesnt play test) and with the bat - he is a must get wicket - much like Sewag, if you dont get him out he can take anygame away from you very quickly. Am I imagining or does Afridi save his best for SL - I am sure other countries feel the same way but he really is such a fantastic player.

  • on June 11, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    He is a player of 90's era & no doubt this is the era which produce greatest ever player in the history of Pakistan cricket like Shahid Afridi, Inzamam ul Haq, Saeed Anwar, Shoaib Akhtar, Muhammad Yousuf and many others.

  • on June 11, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    i read a comment about his batting average...im pretty sure what he did in mohali was permanently planted into the minds of the people of a particular country...who still bring out his batting average...to give themselves hope that "MOHALI INNINGS" never happened because of his batting average :)

  • on June 11, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    Nice one mate, . . This is for all Afridi haters. . . . .

  • on June 11, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    @ aditya....no pakistani cares about his batting average...you wish he was in the IPL!

  • on June 11, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    no subtitute of AFRIDI..... AFRIDI is AFRIDI..... i am afraid of the day of his retirement.... we,the PAKISTANI`S will lose a player who is a complete cricketing superstar....

    LALA,WE love u so much.....

    may ALLAH give him success in his every field of life(AMEEN)

  • on June 11, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    What a gift to cricket this man is....not only to Pakistan, whether or not he performs, he sells out the stadium, people only come to watch what crazy card he has up his sleeve, his batting is just a bonus, always has been, ....probably the best leggie in world cricket at the moment....good fielder, great fighter!!! brought home the T20 world cup.....he has achieved alot! salut to the Legend!!

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    I remember many matches in his early career where he didn't bowl a single over

  • smudgeon on June 11, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    i'd always liked Afridi for being "the maddest of mad axes", to quote his cricinfo profile. but it was only at the last world cup that i really appreciated just how talented and intelligent bowler he is. it is a shame that his more explosive (if inconsistent) batting has overshadowed what a great leggie he is, particularly as a short-form specialist. he was a real talisman in the last world cup for the Pakistani team, and while he may never quite achieve the heights of Imran or Akram, he's one of those players you're just glad to know is out there, being awesome and playing out of his skin for his country. the game will be a little less magic when he retires, that's for sure...

  • jtggrehhtrhtrht on June 11, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    bring back kamran akmal and take out Hafeez

  • Winsome on June 11, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    He is a wonderful bowler but despite, at times, astonishing displays, he's always been an unfulfilled talent.

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    ummm........ i just read a comment criticising afridi's batting average..... i must remind this person that afridi is a matchwinner.... not someone who has an average of 50 and still ends up on the losing side....... his tally of man of the match awards sums that up..... tendulkar shud learn lessons from him on how to actually score a century and end up on the winning side

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Lala <3...........................................................................

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 11, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    @AdityaSingh.well said ! Writer also forgot to mention that he is a player with biggr impact than sehwag,kumble,harbhajan ,LOLZ

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Very impressive, Afridi is a legend, a living legend and he is a proud of our nation

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    @the people bringing in his average - Afridi is an enigma that can not be judged based upon stats... The guy is beyond all that!! A statistic which shows how many people leave the stadium or how many people switch off their televisions after Afridi gets out would be a more appropriate stat to judge him. He is an entertainer - a Super Star!!

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    lose or win can not effect on his perfommace he is a fighter in the ground thats make him still alive in cricket

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    The only reason why I watch/follow cricket is for entertainment and there have been very few cricketers that have been as entertaining as this man!! \o/

  • mtalhas on June 11, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    Imran, Miandad, Wasim, Waqar, Inzi...they were all test players..it is not that simple to enter the club of these legends

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    Shaid Afridi, Wasim Akram, Shoaib akhtar were the Reasons why i started watching cricket in 1999. I will always respect Afridi for his contributions to Pakistan Cricket :)

  • getsetgopk on June 11, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    A very nice article, summed up almost everything about AFRIDI. Pakistan has relied on real match winners over the years, Pak has never been a great team but rather a team of emensly talented figures, Qadir, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Imran, Javed Miandad, Saeed Anwar, Mohmmad Yousaf, Inzimam, Waqar, Wasim, Saqlain were players who could turn a match up side down single handedly. Afridi is just like one of them. Waqar when coach of Pak should have worked with him and supported him he rather locked horns with him just like he did with Wasim in his playing days thats my only regret about Waqar.

  • on June 11, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    he is jst a ordainary cricketer no where in this article is mentioned about his brilliant battin average of 23.60 in odis!!!lol...!!!

  • on June 11, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    on of the greatest allrounder of all time.

  • S.h.a.d.a.b on June 11, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Most of his critics are those people who think, Afridi could do a lot more than he has done.

  • mtalhas on June 11, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    @ emancipator 007, agree with you (you are probably one of the few admirers of miandad's coaching as he was the one who brought out afridi's best). afridi's early years were better as a batsman when he was coached by miandad and used to open with saeed anwar. he was a mature and sensible batsman and might have been an excellent solution to pakistan's batting problems of opening throughout his career. it was also quite foolish of him to quit from test cricket. he could have been far better from what he is right now. i remember imran khan said in an interview that afridi is not a true khan as he left test cricket just by saying that it was out of his comfort zone.

  • on June 11, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    @Muhammad haris noon He has never said that he is batting all-rounder or bowling all-rounder. Its the people like you who are confused that he is batting all-rounder or bowling all-rounder. Everyone (even a kid) knows that he is a bowling all-rounder and his batting is a bonus package. And when ever we get that package, we win. He has been winning so many matches for us with his bowling alone.

  • on June 11, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Afridi is & has always been one of my favorite cricketers. I find it strange when people do not see his match winning potential. Even in the last WC, if there was a cricketer who played and won matches consistently for Pakistan it was Afridi. I personally feel that Pakistan Cricket is going through a relatively tough period and that affects all Pakistan players, including Afridi. Another case of wrong place wrong time for him.

  • on June 11, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    Hero <3 He is currently the superstar of Pakistan Cricket & I have not seen any one in recent except Aamir come close to him.. When he plays well Pakistan always win.. He is a born cricket pedigree... and the "LAST MAN STANDING".. in crisis.. Bravo

  • fas101_pk on June 11, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    He is a great Player and a Great entertainer as ramez raja and so many other commentators said him as a CROWED PULLER. you represent Pakistan and we LOVE you so play as long as you can .....

  • Ammy_rd on June 11, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is the embodiment of commitment, sincerity and competitiveness. He is not someone who will walk out on his team for money but would rather do the opposite. He has earned the kind of respect that even the likes of Wasim Akram can not match, more for his fighting spirit than ability.

  • ajmal2010 on June 11, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Shahid Khan Afridi is the best and is in the list of Imran Khan, Javed Maindad, Wasim and Waqar.

    He is the best player and leader in the current time.

  • HamidYakub on June 11, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Assalam-u-Alaikum no doubt Afridi is a legend he always plays for the team he is not like sachin tendulkar who always like to play for himself not for the team

  • ajmal2010 on June 11, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    It is right that for millions of Pakistani and out side of Pakistan Shahid Khan Afridi is in the list of Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqar. May be at fourth position.

    But in my opinion in this time Shahid Khan Afridi is the only player who can give some happiness to the people of Pakistan. If he perform pakistan will win the match if not perform pakistan will lose. But it needs for the support of Pakistan People, media, team mates, Cricket Board and self motivation in bad situation or performance.

    Pakistan cricket board must focus to keep him in the team in every match, when pakistan playing.

    Good luck Shahid Khan Afridi go a head you are the only leader in the team.

  • Emancipator007 on June 11, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Afridi is a raw primal force with a magnetic, absolutely charismatic on-field persona. For fans, he is the street-playing tennis ball gladiator making it absolutely big in international arena. I know he might not make 20 in 5 of 10 innings, but I will still watch hoping for a BLITZ-like assault. Have heard reports of stadiums jammed with absolute tribal rural folks in northwest Pakistan emptying out after his dismissal. Saad is being UNCHARITABLE about his immense hitting potential & latent (even now 16 years after his debut) batting talent.Only 1 person in Pakistan could channelize Afridi's batting,that was Miandad when he VIRTUALLY coached him from off-the-field to that 100 in Kumble's 10-wicket haul in '99 Delhi Test. He scored mature 100s with awesome SR in the 2010 Asia Cup. A great man-managing team captain/coach can still help him capitalize on his raw batting abilities. Bowling is a bonus. He along with Jayasuriya were born to play T20s.He should have played in all IPL seasons.

  • on June 11, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    thank you Saad for finally writing a non pessimistic article.

  • on June 11, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    Wow, well written. Nailed it:)

  • on June 11, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    He is a loser!!!! After 15 years he still doesn't know if he is a bowler or a batsman. When he performs with the bat, he says I am a batting all rounder, when he performs with ball he says he is a bowling all rounder. Many many players in the world today will not get a chance to play 15 years, but shamefully Afridi has done so and he still doesn't know why he is in the team... Moreover, he is a deserter, he deserted Pakistani team in England against Australia after losing a match when there was no senior player in the team. He thinks he can do whatever he wants like Imran Khan, but he is no way near even to Inzimam who is just behind Imran, Miandad, Zaheer, Waseem and Waqar. People supporting him should not get emotional and must keep the facts in tact. He deserted the team in the most difficult times and none of the above mentioned heroes would do so. They were fighters and Afridi is not. So he shouldn't be compared with Legends because he still has a brain of a child.

  • WildAmigo on June 11, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    He is currently the superstar of Pakistan Cricket & I have not seen any one in recent except Aamir come close to him.. When he plays well Pakistan always win.. He is a born cricket pedigree... and the "LAST MAN STANDING".. in crisis.. Bravo

  • on June 11, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Shahid Afridi - Impact player, biggest match winner ever to play the game of cricket, outstanding fielder, explosive batsman, cunning bowler and a true legend. I still remember his 2009 t20 world cup catch, that catch alone lifted the morale of the team and scripted a dream tournament. 5 out of 6 centuries and all of his 5 wicket hauls have been in a winning cause. if there was a stat for a cricketer generating the most gate money, i bet afridi would top that list by a huge margin. even when he is nearing the end of his career he is still one of the most sough after player. His 5 wickets and 50 runs which single handedly sank sri lanka in abu dhabi speaks volumes about the potential this man posses. Words fail to express the impact he had on this game. Love you Afridi

  • davidatlas999 on June 11, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    One thing i wanna which i seen in almost of all pakistanis afridi perform are not they just love him.

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 11, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Easily d best limitd ovr leg spiner in modrn game.He has surpasd d likes of kumble,warne in odis.Bt i dn,t thnk he would be able to outshine Great saqlain mushtaq in terms of talnt n greatnes.SAQLAIN z arguebly the best odi spiner ever.I Agree his batng abilities r ovrhypd n at one time,ABDUL.RAZAQ(Easily the best alroundr of his era)was a clas above al othr includng afridi,bt afridi's wil to learn variatns have certainly put him above razaq nowadays.

  • gullycover on June 11, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    For millions of Pakistanis in Pakistan and outside Pakistan, Shahis Khan Afridi is already in the league of Imran, Miandad, Wasim and Waqar... NO QUESTION ABOUT IT :)

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  • gullycover on June 11, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    For millions of Pakistanis in Pakistan and outside Pakistan, Shahis Khan Afridi is already in the league of Imran, Miandad, Wasim and Waqar... NO QUESTION ABOUT IT :)

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 11, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Easily d best limitd ovr leg spiner in modrn game.He has surpasd d likes of kumble,warne in odis.Bt i dn,t thnk he would be able to outshine Great saqlain mushtaq in terms of talnt n greatnes.SAQLAIN z arguebly the best odi spiner ever.I Agree his batng abilities r ovrhypd n at one time,ABDUL.RAZAQ(Easily the best alroundr of his era)was a clas above al othr includng afridi,bt afridi's wil to learn variatns have certainly put him above razaq nowadays.

  • davidatlas999 on June 11, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    One thing i wanna which i seen in almost of all pakistanis afridi perform are not they just love him.

  • on June 11, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Shahid Afridi - Impact player, biggest match winner ever to play the game of cricket, outstanding fielder, explosive batsman, cunning bowler and a true legend. I still remember his 2009 t20 world cup catch, that catch alone lifted the morale of the team and scripted a dream tournament. 5 out of 6 centuries and all of his 5 wicket hauls have been in a winning cause. if there was a stat for a cricketer generating the most gate money, i bet afridi would top that list by a huge margin. even when he is nearing the end of his career he is still one of the most sough after player. His 5 wickets and 50 runs which single handedly sank sri lanka in abu dhabi speaks volumes about the potential this man posses. Words fail to express the impact he had on this game. Love you Afridi

  • WildAmigo on June 11, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    He is currently the superstar of Pakistan Cricket & I have not seen any one in recent except Aamir come close to him.. When he plays well Pakistan always win.. He is a born cricket pedigree... and the "LAST MAN STANDING".. in crisis.. Bravo

  • on June 11, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    He is a loser!!!! After 15 years he still doesn't know if he is a bowler or a batsman. When he performs with the bat, he says I am a batting all rounder, when he performs with ball he says he is a bowling all rounder. Many many players in the world today will not get a chance to play 15 years, but shamefully Afridi has done so and he still doesn't know why he is in the team... Moreover, he is a deserter, he deserted Pakistani team in England against Australia after losing a match when there was no senior player in the team. He thinks he can do whatever he wants like Imran Khan, but he is no way near even to Inzimam who is just behind Imran, Miandad, Zaheer, Waseem and Waqar. People supporting him should not get emotional and must keep the facts in tact. He deserted the team in the most difficult times and none of the above mentioned heroes would do so. They were fighters and Afridi is not. So he shouldn't be compared with Legends because he still has a brain of a child.

  • on June 11, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    Wow, well written. Nailed it:)

  • on June 11, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    thank you Saad for finally writing a non pessimistic article.

  • Emancipator007 on June 11, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Afridi is a raw primal force with a magnetic, absolutely charismatic on-field persona. For fans, he is the street-playing tennis ball gladiator making it absolutely big in international arena. I know he might not make 20 in 5 of 10 innings, but I will still watch hoping for a BLITZ-like assault. Have heard reports of stadiums jammed with absolute tribal rural folks in northwest Pakistan emptying out after his dismissal. Saad is being UNCHARITABLE about his immense hitting potential & latent (even now 16 years after his debut) batting talent.Only 1 person in Pakistan could channelize Afridi's batting,that was Miandad when he VIRTUALLY coached him from off-the-field to that 100 in Kumble's 10-wicket haul in '99 Delhi Test. He scored mature 100s with awesome SR in the 2010 Asia Cup. A great man-managing team captain/coach can still help him capitalize on his raw batting abilities. Bowling is a bonus. He along with Jayasuriya were born to play T20s.He should have played in all IPL seasons.

  • ajmal2010 on June 11, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    It is right that for millions of Pakistani and out side of Pakistan Shahid Khan Afridi is in the list of Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqar. May be at fourth position.

    But in my opinion in this time Shahid Khan Afridi is the only player who can give some happiness to the people of Pakistan. If he perform pakistan will win the match if not perform pakistan will lose. But it needs for the support of Pakistan People, media, team mates, Cricket Board and self motivation in bad situation or performance.

    Pakistan cricket board must focus to keep him in the team in every match, when pakistan playing.

    Good luck Shahid Khan Afridi go a head you are the only leader in the team.