King of Sixes - Shahed Afridi
When The Editor KW asked if I would be willing to write something on Shahid Afridi, I told him I would love too. While I was promising the him this, I was googling Shahid Afridi, thinking he was some singer or actor. When the results pulled up to my dismay, I found different. This is great I thought to myself, I know diddlysquat about cricket and nothing of Shahid Afridi, but I had already made a promise, so I opened up a new word pad document and wrote Shahid Afridi at the top of the page and stared at it. A promise is a promise and a Pakhtun promise is even more binding.
As always, I turned to my best friends and research assistant’s google and wikipedia.
I googled for a picture of him and found him easy on the eyes in the way friendly and jovial people usually are, but through experience I have learnt that pictures can be very deceiving. So, I typed in bio and found that at 5ft 11, he would probably be hard to miss in Karachi where he owns a car dealership.
Next I pulled up his stats and something that caught my eye were the words “sex scandal”. “Yikes” that was scary since he was only 20 at the time. “Hey” I said to myself, “give the guy a chance you know diddlysquat about him,” then I came across the information that he listens to Backstreet boys, Spice Girls, and Ricky Martin, well my kids listen to them so probably he is ok. Well how bad can someone be if their favorite song is “Quit playing games with my heart.” Hey, the kid likes light music and folk songs, which was definitely a positive point so I read on. (He is married now; his hanky panky days are probably over.) His first love was his parents “oh, how sweet.”
The more I found out about this guy the more I liked him, yet I still cannot make sense of the game. The post therefore concentrates more on his personal life than on his game point averages (or is that a basket ball term).
Shahid Afridi (or Shah as his friends and family call him) was born March 1 1980, in Khyber Agency. His parents saw fit to bestow him with the name Sahibzaha Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi (now that is a mouthful, how dare my son complain that his name is too long). Coming from a big family he has to share his parents with 9 other siblings (I have not been able to verify if he is in the 9th or he makes No.10.)
I found that his favorite colors are Blue, White and Red (I wonder whether it has anything to do with the American flag) and likes orange juice to drink and chicken biryani, kheer and Ice cream and definitely mangos. He is usually seen wearing tees and jeans. Then there is the information of his dressing-room clash with Younis Khan at Barbados. Nevertheless, he is human and therefore we should forgive him, imagine having to share a dressing room and that too with a man.
After the incredible performance of Shahid Afridi in the test matches against the West Indies and Indian cricket teams, the Pakistan Sports Forum (PSF) decided to honor our Pakhtun brother Shahid Afridi on June 25th at Pearl Continental Hotel.
There was a big bash thrown for Shahid Afridi where many former and recent sports stars were shining bright, who showered high praise on him. Among those notably present were squash legend Jehangir Khan, hockey olympian Islahuddin, cricketers Zaheer Abbas, Iqbal Qasim and Rashid Khan.
Key speakers highlighted Afridi’s talent and personality. They were unanimous of the view that playing against Shahid, any world-class bowler feels uneasy facing him, whether it is the Australian Bradley or Anil Kumble of India. They also agreed that Afridi is without a doubt “The King OF Sixes”, even his miss-hits cross the playing field boundary, such powerful hitters are a rarity in the world of cricket.
Iqbal Qasim, member of the cricket selection committee and a former test spinner while praising Afridi said that after Afridi’s excellent performance the selection committee could not think of any game without Shahid Afridi being on the team. Shahid has proved himself as the necessary figure for both test and one-day cricket.
Squash legend Jehangir Khan said that though Afridi is a cricket player, he has inspired the players and experts of other fields too. Jehangir described him as a powerful all-rounder of our time. He further said that if such a player would enter the court of squash, all of our records would be in stack.
Zaheer Abbas, (the Asian Bridman, who made runs like a machine in his time), heaped praise on Afridi at this occasion, saying that he had never seen such an energetic and fast scoring batsman. Playing against any country, Zaheer added, if Afridi could manage to stay intact at crease for ten to fifteen minutes would always mean bad luck for the opponent team.
Hockey legend Islahuddin called Shahid a GHAZABNAK cricketer of today's cricket world and the fastest hit man, and that is why Sunil Gavaskar once said that if Afridi stays on crease for twenty overs, the captain of the opposition team starts praying for Shahid's departure.
Muneer Hussain, president of KCCA said that he was proud to say that Afridi had started his cricket in front of him and from the KCCA's playground had reached the top of international cricket.
It seems that our charismatic all-rounder and “King of Sixes” Shahid Afridi is finally getting the recognition he most certainly deserves for his outstanding performances. In the past, Shahid’s reputation for lack of patience while batting has cost him the ability to command a regular place on the Pakistan team. Afridi’s career has been clouded with controversy due to his fights with fellow cricketers and sex scandals.
All apart, he is highly praised for his game in the cricket community. His bowling style is the Right Arm Leg Spin and his batting style is Right Hand. Afridi has played for Karachi Cricket Association, Habib Bank Limited, Leicestershire, and Pakistan.
Shahid made his ODI debut on October 2, 1996 against Kenya at Nairobi and his Test debut on October 22, 1998 against Australia at Karachi. He has scored over 4,500 ODI runs at a strike rate of more than 107 runs per 100 balls, and has taken over 160 ODI wickets. Shahid holds the record for scoring the fastest century (which he scored in 37 balls) in One Day Internationals and shares the record for the second fastest century (on 45 balls) in One Day Internationals with Brian Lara. Shahid Afridi is one of Pakistan's greatest all rounders, he has a higher strike rate than any batsman in the world.
It is said that he hits the ball with such a ferocity that “Even the best of fielders with strong palms would think twice before laying their hands on the ball.” Moreover, he is best known for his googlys. (Googly is a delivery by a right arm spin bowler, which to a right hand batsman appears as if it will spin from leg to off, however, spins in the opposite direction).
Till recently Afridi was the 8th batsman, but now, with the blessings of Captain Inzimamul Haq, he is playing a big role in all the one day internationals and test series. Afridi, with his aggressive style, brings up the game to the point where his fellow batsmen only need to make an easy average of six runs for an easy victory.
Being the all-rounder that Afridi is, his success even extends to fielding; it is hard to make runs when Afridi is on the field. He made it into the history books while playing against India in this latest matches, it is his own style that makes him such an exceptional player, especially when Gangolee was struck bold out is an excellent example. This was a definite wide ball but it turned Gangolee into a confused mess.
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family. Mother Theresa