It is time we stop glorifying Shahid Afridi

Published: March 10, 2015

We tend to have short memory spans. Every disappointing innings seems to be forgotten every time he scores a quick-fire 40 or takes a couple wickets. PHOTO: REUTERS

On Monday, during the Pakistan versus UAE game, Shahid Afridi became the fourth Pakistani and the 27th cricketer overall to score 8000 runs in ODIs.

Photo: Reuters

Among the 27 batsmen, Afridi has the highest strike rate of 116.86. He is the second player to have completed the double of 8000 runs and 300 wickets, joining Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya.

Without a doubt, Afridi is considered a national hero all over Pakistan. No batsman gets a louder roar from the crowd as he does while walking from the dressing room to the pitch. He has managed to garner the love and adoration of millions of Pakistanis and probably will retain it long after he retires.

Photo: Reuters

However, I have a slightly different point of view regarding the Shahid Afridi situation, and I believe the public’s image and perception of him explains more about Pakistani cricket than what meets the eye.

Afridi has now played 395 ODIs. This makes him a very experienced senior player. In every team sport, senior players are supposed to serve as role models, not only for younger players in the team but for youngsters who follow the team as fans as well.

Yet Afridi, year after year, seems to be sending out the wrong message. If one were to try and play a slideshow of Afridi’s batting innings, the most common image is that of a ball skied straight up in the air, only to fall into the hands an opposition fielder.

In fairness, a number of these dismissals have been under pressure where quick runs and risks were required, but the majority is due to other reasons. Too often, in times when Pakistan needed less than a run a ball while chasing, Afridi has come to the crease and slogged himself out, puzzling everybody.

A case in point is the ball tampering incident which happened a few years back.

In January 2010, when Afridi was captaining Pakistan – due to the absence of Mohammad Yousuf – in the match against Australia in Perth during the fifth Commonwealth Bank ODI series, he was confronted by on-field umpires after the TV umpire had spotted something amiss and the match ball was changed.

Immediately after the game, Afridi was called into a hearing with the match referee and pleaded guilty for biting the ball twice. In later public comments, Afridi admitted to tampering the ball saying,

“I shouldn’t have done it. It just happened. I was trying to help my bowlers and team win a match, one match”.

Afridi sinking his teeth into the cricket ball was seen by everyone on television. As a Pakistani, I felt embarrassed, because this man was not only representing my country, he was also filling in as captain. Even though this was five years ago, Afridi was still a senior player at the time, and had once again sent a negative message to millions of young admirers.

Photo: Reuters

Another case is his early retirement from Test matches.

In July 2010, Afridi captained Pakistan in the first Test of the series at Lords against Australia. He scored 31 off 15 deliveries in the first innings and two in the second and was dismissed as a result of rash strokes in both. After the match, Afridi announced his retirement from Test cricket (not for the first time) citing a lack of temperament for the longer format of the game.

Photo: Reuters

Every true follower of the sport knows that actual cricket is Test cricket. The best players of Test cricket are the best players in the world. It is where the true technique and temperament of a player is ‘tested’ and where captaincy is most important.

Again in fairness, Afridi admitted to lack of temperament for this version of the game himself, but in many ways that was a disappointment. Test cricket is the highest form of cricket and should be every player’s ambition. I was disappointed when I heard Afridi was retiring, especially because he personally felt he was not up to the mark.

Despite all the lows, Afridi has enjoyed more love from Pakistani supporters than any other player. This is because for every 10 poor performances, Afridi manages to give a sensational one, and that seems to balance out everything.

Where he has failed with the bat, he has performed in the field and with the ball.

Still, however, for Afridi, at the climax of his career, I think it’s a case of what could have been. The 35-year-old, on the basis of talent, would top any list of cricketers in the world; but what he has produced with all that potential is the true tragedy of the matter. He has shown that he can play every shot in the book but has also shown that after two decades of playing the game, he cannot pick which ball to hit.

Many fans have defended his succession of poor batting performances by saying that he should be treated solely as a bowler, but deep down every cricket fan knows that Afridi was meant to be much more, and very rarely does an entire stadium rise to its feet to cheer on a ‘bowler’ when he comes on to bat.

Our constant, and at times blind, support for players like Shahid Afridi is worrying.

We tend to have short memory spans. Every disappointing innings seems to be forgotten every time he scores a quick-fire 40 or takes a couple wickets. We tend to admire players for their flare instead of their consistency, honour and leadership.

Take our current Pakistani captain, Misbahul Haq – a player with no flare but definite consistency, honour and proven record for captaincy and leadership. Misbah is treated in the opposite way and is often remembered for his very few flop performances compared to the many times he has performed brilliantly under pressure to bail Pakistan out of trouble.

Photo: Reuters

Shahid Afridi has had a very eventful career but it should be remembered that he was the slowest batsman to reach the 8000-runs milestone.

Does he offer anything to the current Pakistani team? Absolutely. I feel he is still a valuable player as a leg-spinner, fielder and at times, very few times, a lower order batsman. But I believe that a player with as much experience as him has a strong duty towards serving as a model and mentor for younger players as well.

The way Afridi bats, repeatedly, is damaging to both young cricketers in the team and youngsters watching him back home who could be potential players in the future. Being a valuable player is not and should not be more important than being a role model.

The way Afridi plays his game, at his age and with his level of experience, would not be tolerated in any other Test playing nation’s team or by the supporters, and I strongly believe the same should apply in Pakistan.

I wish him all the luck in the world for his final few ODIs, but I can only sit and wonder what could have been had he played with a more level-headed approach and achieved his full potential.

Sadly the world will never know.

Abu Bakr Agha

Abu Bakr Agha

A software engineer, musician, writer and activist from Islamabad, currently based in Chicago. He tweets @AB_Agha (twitter.com/AB_Agha) and blogs at www.elucidations.org

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ahmed

    very well written, its good that people have begun to realize how big a failure has Afridi been as a cricketer. Swag, attitude and aggression are only good if backed up by good performances. Sadly Afridi has given us nothing but a flash in the performance and then a multitude of below par performances that are not expected from a 400 match veteranRecommend

  • nishit

    true my pakistani brothers… afridi has just wasted a place in team all this years… too overrated player.. and we indians have loads of respect for misbah he is the player the lone fighter who should get all the applause of pakistani ppl Recommend

  • Chandra Reddy

    He is a liability.Recommend

  • tayyaba rana

    very well argumented.Recommend

  • kami

    Brilliant. And timely.Recommend

  • Harris

    Spot on!Recommend

  • Omar

    This is probably the best piece I have read on Afridi in Pakistani media! Spoke my mind!Recommend

  • none

    Afridi belongs to pepsi and head&shoulder adds only.Recommend

  • Awais

    Good piece, but I would defend Afridi on the basis that, as a player we should be comparing him to the likes of Daniel Vettori, where he surpasses his counterpart. When it comes to leadership, Afridi seems a lot more active on the ground than Misbah when the team is out to field. He is temperamental and can take rash decisions and change his style. Misbah just recently against the RSA killed the innings and the run rate at which Pakistan was cruising, because he refuses to change his batting style. I therefore think, that even if you discount his stats as a player, his presence in leadership brings hope, belief and confidence to the team that surpasses any other.Recommend

  • Maria

    Just cannot believe that I live in a country where people praise Afridi and curse Misbah.Recommend

  • Abū Bakr

    I will say your points are fair but I strongly feel youngsters are repeatedly seeing irresponsible things done by a very senior player and he has to be held accountable for that.Recommend

  • Col. Javed

    Abu Bakr Agha, the star of the Express Tribune blogs since day 1.Recommend

  • John

    Pure liability. Nothing but flare.Recommend

  • Sunil G.

    This is something I would expect to read on Cricinfo and not ET but thats a compliment. Well done ET!Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahmed

    Very true ! Excellent article showing the reality of AFridi maniaRecommend

  • Muhammad Ahmed

    Very true ! Excellent article showing the reality of AFridi maniaRecommend

  • junaid

    Abu Bakr brother, youngster are learning from Wasim akram, salman butt, salim malik, Mohd Aamir etc…proven match fixers..
    Afridi played 395 matches and is clean…thats his true achievement.

    Slowest to 8000 ? at what order he bats ? below 6 always…so he can be slowest no issue

    Highest wicket taker in WC 2011 showed he lead from front, something which other captains like Misbah failed miserably at..Recommend

  • Alisha

    The truth will set you free.Recommend

  • kamacho

    afridi is a ratRecommend

  • Mehak Fida

    Cricket is a team game. Where we need steady players with patience to build momentum, we also need risk-takers to pull the game out of pressure. Defending Afridi here, I will say that Afridi is a risk taker. We must realize with risk comes a chance of success as well as failure. Unlike many cricketers, Afridi is not afraid of big names in Cricket. Right from his debut in 1996 he never was afraid to hit off to established bowlers. You can’t criticize a person’s temperament, it’s in his personality. Afridi’s fame is in his good fortune. Misbah, on the other hand, is the calm, steady man we need. It’s a misfortune the man had been playing for Pakistan A since his 20s but he was only included into the international team in 2007. The man has shown his resilience ever since. Afridi and Misbah together form a sort of Good cop, Bad cop relationship in the team. Their both very different, but very crucial for the young players. Steady Misbah builds strong partnerships, Afridi’s impulsiveness gives his team, young players, 190 million at home and even Misbah ul Haq a sense of courage and hope in times of pressure. One may criticize him for his reckless cricket, but if anyone who can pull up a six after a “Back(Spinal) strain”(Asia Cup 2014) It’s Afridi.Recommend

  • bilal

    slowest to 8000 because his avg is 23 (worst among any batsman in the world)… and avg is calculated from the number of times he batted not number of matches. He has been an opener for pakistan too. Sadly he should have retired 10 years ago. Bowling avg is pretty lame too.Recommend

  • Rafay Qureshi

    The only place where he performs well is Pepsi ad or boom boom bubble!Recommend

  • ubaid ali mir

    Test at lords vs Australia. Face palm!!!Recommend

  • Siraj

    Abu Bakr Agha I think people like you needs a reminder I think go back and check the Highlish ot 2007 T20 Final where Misbah Failed and then Watch t20 Final of 2009 Where Afridi performed People like you need to change your mentality and Please write some thing really makes sense after 1992 atleast he gave you one Trophy let alone ,,,,,,,, as a Pakistani I am ashamed of people like you who dont defend your own people and if you will get a chance to do some thing for India you will even sell ur selfRecommend

  • Durand

    Afridi as a captain was always a good choice due to his aggressive nature, but as long as politics in pakistan cricket exists you can’t expect much from these players. 1990′s was a golden era for pakistan cricket especially the late 90′s The team that pakistan had in 1999 was unbeatable but due to akram’s shadowed reputation we lost that world cup it was ours to be honest.Recommend

  • Durand

    mind you but most of his supporters are uneducated people having no idea about cricketRecommend

  • Red-Taz

    Shahid Afridi 395 Matches – 8002 Runs – 391 Wickets
    Is he a bowling all-rounder or a batting all-rounder?
    If you give Fawad Alam 400 games – I can bet he can better that record.
    Shahid Afridi – Average bowler/batsman – Average stats.Recommend

  • khan

    Too late for this article and u have been to nice to Afridi. Afridi is a politician and a cunning one for years and should have been kicked out of the team years ago. Groupings , leaking locker room news to his media pals and playing for the gallery not for the country are just some quick pointers. He has single handedly destroyed our young batsmen. Recommend

  • murtaza

    i dont agree with the writer…Afridi is a known match
    winner and his utility to the team can be guaged
    from the amount of times he had won the man of
    the match award……can somebody name a suitable replacement
    from the current pool of youngsters playing the game in pakistanRecommend

  • ali

    Abu bakr bhai, I not agree with you. Sir, he is a match winner player. His presence in the team is definitely pressure for opponents. He can change the status of the match at any time whether he bating or bowling. Dropping senior player like afridi will remind me worldcup 2011 when shoaib akhtar was dropped and Pakistan lost against india.Recommend

  • tahir

    Totally agreed with the writer. I also have the same views in case of Afridi. We as a nation are more persona fide with players personality and flare, rather than his performance, leadership and consistency. Afridi has always remain a big disappointment for Pakistan Team at critical moments of the game with his poor mindless batting and has always remains a disappointment for Pakistan fans in particular . The sad part for all of this is that Pakistan cricket suffered a lot because of his continous inclusion in the team for soo many years without any consistent performance and our cricket is suffered by loosing potential talented player which we can get from Test cricket. Now its the right time to drop him from the remaining matches of world cup and give some chance to deserving players for the betterment of Pakistan cricket. Recommend

  • Haseeb Aslam
  • Waqar Shah

    Abu Bakr Agha, remember in life, we only write negative about people when we have our own legacy and achievements. If Javed Miandad or Inzama ul Haq write what you wrote, we will appreciate and understand – but you need to establish your position first before you impose your opinion on us.

    Alastair Cook: Afridi is a power house for Pakistan

    Michael Holding: Cricket is not cricket without Shahid Afridi.

    Viv Richard: Never seen a ball tearing player in cricket history.

    Geoffrey Boycott: He is a power house,my favourite player of all time.

    Yuvraj: Even after hitting 6 sixes,cant even come close to Afridi’s fame.Recommend

  • gikian

    He will prove all of you wrong with his extravagant performance in knock out matches,remember he is big match player..please support your stars and soon you will have Nasir jamshed caliber players in post Afridi era,then you will know the value of Afridi.Recommend

  • abhi

    I think Afridi should be part of pakistani team and contribute to wins.Recommend

  • Parvez

    In the very early days Afridi played cricket for the sport…….when he realized he was making more money due to his ‘ maverick ‘ image…..he started playing for his image and cricket came second.Recommend

  • Saif

    Afridi, what a joke , I bet he would even struggle to get a starting eleven place in a Bagladesh team…other Test playing nations will not have him even as a ball boy ..this shows Y Pakistan struggles !Recommend

  • imran ch.

    When I was younger I used to get thrilled at the thought of Razzaq, Afridi and Nazir player, aggressive players who would take the game to the opposition. With Nazir and especially Afridi I was often left disappointed. Rubbish players aren’t inconsistent, they are consistently bad.Recommend

  • Arshad Jamil

    Hope may be with a lot of doubt but confidence Awais has the audacity to tell us he brings confidence Afridi is the only person in Pakistan team who cannot be relied upon for even one run onlyRecommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Afridi being in the team is advantageous to opposition teams. His average of 23 is well, not really threatening. Compare that with other greats who play(ed) in the same position – Michael Bevan average 56, Dhoni 55 – who actually refuse to get out and capable of hitting big when required.

    As a bowler too he wont get a spot with a 33 average purely as a bowler in any Test playing team.

    His fielding is alright.

    His brains or the lack of it is pretty obvious.

    His one world record and his looks basically kept him alive all this while. Sehwag with 2 triple centuries, many doubles in Test, including one in ODIs was shown the door for not performing in a few series. Afridi wouldn’t have survived in a meritorious system.Recommend

  • Soccerisma

    Not a staunch supporter but Sorry to say this article is trash with little respect for the man who has single handedly won the nation games and has taken the blame countless times for the overall batting collapse that no one seems to shed any light on.

    No one seems to mention that he was the player of the tournament in T20 WC 2007,

    No one seems to mention that he was the one to deliver us the only world title after 1992 when every single Pakistani knows that no one in the squad could have come up with a complete all round performance in batting and bowling to win us the semi and the final of T20 WC 2009. World class players like Yousuf and Akhtar have won us many games but nothing bigger than the T20 WC.

    No one seems to mention that he was our best player in the 2011 WC, leading wicket taker and the only Pakistani player to make it into the World Cup XI.

    Literally, and all those praising the timing. It is actually worse when he is probably playing his final ODI tournament and every Pakistani is well aware that he is much needed as we lack match winners and Afridi is surely one if not the only.

    Kapil Dev in his 225 ODis has 23 batting average and 253 wickets, just one world title and he is considered as their best all rounder ever and a legend. and then there is Afridi slated by own set of supporters almost as if he has done nothing when everyone of you slating here will still be looking forward to next time he takes the field.Recommend

  • roughcheck

    Stupid judgement Recommend

  • Mujtaba

    exactly , that’s the point of the writer, u went back 6 years to explain what he did in 2009, searched history six years back to defend somebody who has been constantly playing every match since then. Mind it, Youvraj was man of the series in 2011 world cup but now he is not even in the fifteen squad of indian team.Recommend

  • fze

    Yes, Afridi is a role model but of his own kind. He is a perfect example of how to be out on the second ball. An over rated player who never realised his full potential. That’s how I’m going to remember him. The rest is upto the nation as to how they want to remember him.Recommend

  • ABBASI

    man have a life …
    semi final and final man of the match t20 world cup 2009.
    man of the tournament t20 world cup 2007.
    leading wicket taker 2011 world cup.
    only allroundre to take 5 wickets and 50 runs in odi format 3 times.
    2nd best bowling figure of 7/12 in total 3000 odis.
    fastest 100 in 37 balls in 1996 against the likes of murali,vaas and dharmasena.

    just becoz of people like you, we never respected our heroes.
    1)Wasim akram best bowler of the world had been thrown out of team after 2003.now can u find another wasim.?
    2)YOUNIS khan dropped elliot catch in champions trophy ,you stupid media started that match is fix etc and he step down from captaincy.now pakistan team drops 5 to 6 catches.can u explain?
    3)shoib akhter fastest bowler ,was dropped from the final just becoz his catches were dropped by kamran akmal in 2011 world cup when taylor was on 0 and 4 ,later on taylor hit 27 runs in his last over .u dropped him from the world cup.can u produce another shoib akhter?
    4)abdul razzaq just becoz of politics is not playing domestic cricket.can u bring another allrounder of his calllibre?

    please respect your heroes afridi is last player of great 90 era of Pakistan .after that
    you will wait to see the player who will hit 2 consecutives sixes to ashwin to win the game against india.THEN U WILL SAY “YAHA PER AFRIDI HOTA NA”
    TAKE lesson from india who make their heroes.Shame on u anti Pakistani.I m Pakistani and i m proud of every Pakistani.Recommend

  • Parvez Iqbal

    Who are you to tell us to stop gloryfing the best known Pakistani cricketer on par with Imran Khan, if not more. He is one of the most intelligent bowlers of spin in the world and his strike rate is unquestionable. If you did not suffer from dementia you’d remember some of his fireworks with the bat. Writers like you, with little understanding but much greed to earn undeserved money come dime a dozen. As long as Afridi is just sitting in the field his opponents are under pressure. And he is incorruptible which cannot be said of many “cricketers” not just in Pakistan but from all countries in the cricketing world.Recommend

  • Abū Bakr

    Could you please point out how any opinion was imposed? I merely ‘stated’ my opinions and the reasons why I had them. I agree with all 5 of the great gentlemen you quoted. No complaints there. I’ve been a fan of Afridi all my life.Recommend

  • Abū Bakr

    Well I’m no one to tell anyone to stop glorifying their heroes. But I am well within my rights to explain why I think Afridi has fell short of his potential. The title of this article was chosen by the Express Tribune and it can feel imposing. I would not have titled it as it is but when i read it, i agreed with it because I feel personally he’s failed himself.

    Afridi had the world in the palm of his hands. Thats the kind of talent he possessed. The PCB has failed miserably because when he scored the 100 or 37 balls they should have done everything in their power to nurture his abilities. But he still had an almost two decade run in the team to hone his abilities himself. I think Pakistanis deserve to see a little more restraint and sensibility from him after all these years.

    Again no one is challenging is hero status and I’m definitely not saying he shouldnt have a big send off. The two main points I tried to present in this piece were that his lack of maturity as a senior player can damage the cricketing youth and that he fell short of what his talented merited. I think those are strong points and didnt deserve me to be frankly insulted. Learn to be able to argue when someone disagrees with you. If you will insult them then I dont see why anyone would respect your opinion.Recommend

  • tim

    great article.. this guy played for gallery… and proved the nation what they were made off.. they like the nonsense !Recommend

  • Guest

    Its not so hard to believe. After all its the same country that celebrated Agha Waqar (water car) and shunned Dr Abdus Salam (nobel prize winner, the same country that honored Mumtaz Qadri and ridiculed Malala Yousafzai.Recommend

  • Vivek Sharma

    No doubt Afridi has disappointed many times, But it is also true that he has won many matches for his country. Most man of the matches, T-20 world cup victory, most wickets in 2011 world cup are just a few examples. It it reality that he could have achieved much more but his defense is weak and batting order also changes many times. Under Bob Woolmer he was much consistent. Anyways it is his last world cup, so there is no use discussing it. He will live in the hearts of his fans forever and I am a Post graduate not an illiterate and he has fans all over the world.Recommend

  • Mohammad

    The fact that Afridi despite being an extremely disappointing player is hero worshiped in Pakistan speaks volumes about the psychological dynamics, mindset and temperament of Pakistani nation. Unfortunately, Pakistani nation as a whole (apart from a few exceptions) suffers from an acute tendency of impatience, violence, intolerance and extremism. Pakistani nation has no concept or sense of belief in institutions, systems or procedures, rather, they always find refuge and place their full trust in individual personalities and heroism. Pakistani nation always aspires for “over the night fixes” and shortcuts, whereas, it never believes in steady constant growth/improvement and in a process of evolution. Pakistani nation immensely enjoys subjects of exaggerated criticism, horror and terror stuff. These and other such tendencies are the reason why the media both print and electronic is behaving the way it is and getting high ratings in return. This is why people dont believe in systems like democracy and hero worship people like IK and TUQ and participate in their months long useless dharnas etc. This is why Afridi i.e. a third class or even a fourth class player with even a fourth class personality who is slapping and punching his fans on the airports, a player who would even struggle to get a starting eleven place in a Afghanistan team while other Test playing nations will not have him even as a ball boy has been destroying Pakistani cricket and team since decades and yet enjoys such a stardom…Recommend

  • Nabeel

    Ali bhai, to hold a title of a match winner, the player should do that with consistence.Recommend

  • bilal

    The time to stop glorifying him came a long time ago imo. lose the dead weight the team shouldRecommend

  • fully-faltu

    you don’t need to be a master chef to criticize a tasteless cuisine.Recommend

  • Lalit

    India has shown her Heroes of previous WC the door,namely 1.Yuvraj-player of the tournament,2.Gautam Gambhir-Highest score of 97 in the final.3.Virender Sehwag-lesser told is better.4.Harbhajan Singh-world’s second most successful off-spinner after Murali.5.Zaheer Khan-took 21 wickets in 9 matches in 2011 WC.Appreciating Heroes is different matter and carrying them till eternity irrespective of their form and performance at the cost of better players is another.Recommend

  • Lalit

    if decade old achievements are a criterion for a permanent berth in team,India would still be playing with Sehwag,Zaheer and Yuvraj,along with Bhajji and Gambhir.Infact every player has had his fair share of achievements,but there is something called consistency and form.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    The coach from Karachi is very irritated that his message was deleted earlier. “ISKI boree banay gee to team chalay gee”Recommend

  • Waqar

    Your jealous of Shahid Afridi. He is an amazing player and we love him.Recommend

  • Ak

    He has served his country for 18 years and this is the type of article our useless media ppl are publishing. Shame on you. He desrve a lot of respect but unfortunately in Pakistan this is not new.Recommend

  • Waqas

    I totally agree with you but point here is India has found replacement of all these players. Can you name any leg spinner in Pakistan who can bat and field like Afridi.Recommend

  • Vivek Sharma

    What old achievements? Yuvraj, Sehwag are out of the form that is why they are out and afridi just recently scored three superb half centuries against New Zeland. You are a afridi hater so be it. He has millions and millions of fans. Tell me why can’t Our team has failed to find a all-rounder for decades?Recommend

  • Sane

    Afridi is a dead horse and fit for ads only. Anyways still can make money through ads.Recommend

  • Abū Bakr

    For the benefit of readers I feel obliged to say that I wholeheartedly hope he produces match winning performances in the coming weeks. Just think we should call a spade, a spade – Shahid Afridi is a player who has everything in his own power, but refuses to use it.Recommend

  • Lalit

    Pakistan has some good leg spinners like Yasir who are warming benches in this WC. if you are not exposing them to top teams how do you expect them to become competitive overnight…The problem with all rounders like Afridi is that they fail in both batting as well as bowling and still survive through the tag of all rounder.form doesn’t seem to be a criterion in his case.Recommend

  • Lalit

    You mean to say Afridi is an in-form player.May be being among the top duck scoring batsmen means being in form for you. I don’t hate Afridi.Why should i hate him ? I as a follower of cricket like many Pakistani players both from past and present and even envy some of their quick bowlers.one expects a bit of consistency from a veteran of 400 ODIs.There needs to be a method to the madness.But i definitely think Afridi has more lives than a cat.He has been given disproportionately more chances than many others like Fawad Alam and Yasir Shah or even a Mohd Yusuf.

    Afridi might have been an impact player 15 years ago,but today he is just seen as an opportunity to add one more wicket to bowler’s stats,whose only intention seems to send the bowl into outer space.its very difficult task to be and remain an Afridi fan.its strange when some Afridi fans invoke his ‘no fixing’ record to justify his inclusion in playing eleven.That is ,i think their last resort .Pakistan definitely possesses more talented players than Afridi.its only their fixation with flair and style instead of substance which makes them idolize underperformes like Afridi and shun silent strivers like Misbah.Most often than not its Misbah who brings his hapless team into a contention,otherwise taken to the shambles by the likes of Afridis.Recommend

  • abhi

    If by all rounder you mean Afridi then thank God India doesn’t have one.
    We could select shahrukh khan and salman khan in team and they can provide good entertainment.. Who knows they could hit couple of sixes also once in while.Recommend

  • abhi

    You don’t prove yourself another Shahid Afridi by comparing him with Kapil Dev using selective stats. You are comparing people from two different era. In those time score like 300 in one day game were not common like today. Even a score of 230 runs used to be great score. Comparing T20 world cup win with ODI world cup win is other apple/oranges type of comparison you have comeup with. They are different format and simply put the real cricket world cup is ODI cup. You failed to even look at the test match statistics or was that on purpose?Recommend

  • Soccerisma

    The comparison with Kapil Dev’s statistics was to show that stats do not matter much as compared to major titles. 300 has nothing to do with debate here.

    Everyone knows ODI WC is bigger than T20 WC, but hey its a world title and Pakistan has not won any trophy of that stature since 1992, no Champions trophy (havent won it either), or series win or sharjah cup wins can compare to a world title. And it is hence baffling that no one mentions that with Afridi’s name.

    Players like Fleming, Smith, Lara are legends for whatever reasons but not for any major trophy. Id rather have Afridi who has won a major trophy for his country and been the best player for the nation in 3 consecutive world tournaments which everyone has ignored.

    Di Villiers is a talent like the world has never seen, probably already a legend for his individual brilliance, but will have that choker tag with him if he fails to win any major trophy for his country, which he hasnt up till now.Recommend

  • Gulchand Mehta

    Who is Afridi? The same guy who says women
    should stay home? No need to educate them. Just stay
    home learn to cook. And wear a burqa. Blue one.Recommend

  • Prashant

    With fans like you, Afridi can dream of playing for another decade.Recommend

  • Vivek Sharma

    Afridi doesn’t score coupe of sixes ok. He has scored 8000 runs and 395 wickets check ur facts has won T-20 world cup and 32 man of the matches where is irfan what is jadeja doing. Our team is best in world but don’t criticize just because they are our from Pak team.Recommend

  • abhi

    these 8000 runs and 395 wickets are made in 400 ODIs. Ravindra Jadeja already has 8 man of the match and if he gets to play 400 ODI I am sure he will reach the number Afridi has.Recommend

  • Ismail

    There has never been a more overrated cricketer than Shahid Afridi.Recommend

  • turtlehead

    Crap. Waqar…as a blogger he has every right to express his opinion..if you have a problem you can stop following his blog. Afridi is an irresponsible cricketer, even though you know it you dont want to admit it. Those comments are from players after a particular innings of his, that does not mean they have given a certificate of his batting skills. Not everyone can play like mizbah.Recommend

  • naz

    Well written , overrated afridi !!Recommend

  • emaan

    afridi has turn many games in favour of pakistan.he has always been a game changer people call him” a magician ” who has a magical touch in cricket and the whole world accept it.one afridi …heart beat of .millions. his presence in the team makes the team stronger ….a legend ever……..he served pakistan for more than 19 years and he is the hope of millions and we din’t stop glorifying on him..he is our hero and you! shame on you guyz for not giving respect to the heroes of nation….senseless judgement …….our prayers our support are always with u SHAHID KHAN AFRIDI may ” ALLAH” bless u with all of his blessings(ameen) .cricket will always miss u ….u will always stay in our heart and don’t be upset and disappoint by that type of cheap sayings about u because its pakistan and as u know that people of pakistan r like this which din’t give respect to the stars of the nation.RESPECT FOR YOU AND ONE MORE THING “U WILL BE MISSED BRO”Recommend

  • Vivek Sharma

    He will be thrown out of the team soon.Recommend

  • abhi

    yes and that is the difference bewtween Jadeja and Afridi.Recommend

  • Vivek Sharma

    Shahid has already retired from ODI’s and he will retire from T-20 next year. Cricket will not be cricket without Afridi. As far as his consistency was concerned yeah he was irregular in his last 405 years he was a very good bowler who was the best in 2011 World Cup and also T-20 world Cup. last 6-7 months he was also doing well with the bat gain. He was best under Bob Woolmer’s coaching he did great in Test Matches also then. I think Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be a good All-Rounder for India provided he maintains his fitness.Recommend

  • abhi

    Yes he retired in any ealry age of 35 only. I don’t know why? he had so much cricket left. Actually he could have played like this for eternity. All he has to do is hit some sixes once in 20 innings and that will be enough to keep the average.Recommend

  • Vivek Sharma

    Alastair Cook: Afridi is a power house for Pakistan

    Michael Holding: Cricket is not cricket without Shahid Afridi.

    Viv Richard: Never seen a ball tearing player in cricket history.

    Geoffrey Boycott: He is a power house,my favourite player of all time.

    Yuvraj: Even after hitting 6 sixes,cant even come close to Afridi’s fame.Recommend

  • Vivek Sharma

    You are biased in ur opinion. You don’t see the good things of Shahid only bad things , India is yet to find an all rounder of Kapil Dev’s class anyways if Kapil Dev is called All-rounder with an avg. of 23 and 31 in test shahid has same in ODI with more centuries and 394 wickets highest wicket taker in two world cups most man of the matches 37 avg. in Test with 6 centuries that too with start as Bower. Shahid was the most exciting player not only for his countrymen but all over the world. He would have been successful more if got the guidance of coaches like Bob Woolmer under whom he was the most consistent.Recommend