No one does it like Afridi

Published: July 4, 2011

Shahid Afridi is the youngest ODI batsman to score the fastest century and has won the Man of the Match title 24 times for Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

I have followed Shahid Afridi’s performance for Hampshire in the Friends Life T20 Cup in England, and it seems like he has led the team to some impressive victories.

First, a 5 wicket haul to destroy Gloucestershire and then a belligerent 29 off 17 and 3-10 to roll over Sussex and lead Hampshire to the top of the table.

I don’t see why anyone would be surprised considering the number of match winning performances Afridi has come up with, in Pakistan colours.

There are a number of people who have doubted Afridi’s abilities at the international level – many who never thought he was capable of being Pakistan captain, and many who thought it was a good move to remove him as the One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 captain. Many even felt he didn’t deserve to play international cricket.

This post is for all those Afridi critics (and one for all his fans to enjoy) to show what he has achieved over his glittering 15-years career for Pakistan.

1. He wasn’t fast just once, he was always fast

I am sure you are aware that Afridi holds the record for the fastest ever ODI century. Its not only that – Afridi has scored 3 out of the 10 fastest 100s ever scored in ODIs. Jayasuriya is the only other batsman whose name appears more than once in this top 10.

That’s not all. Afridi has scored a 50 in 22 deliveries or less as many as 7 times in ODI cricket! That is more times than any other batsman.

2. It rains sixes when Afridi bats

Yes, he has hit more sixes than any other batsman in ODI cricket, but that’s not all. He has hit seven sixes or more in an ODI innings five times. No other batsman appears more than thrice in that list, which includes names like Sanath Jayasuriya, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson, Yuvraj Singh, Abdul Razzaq, Saurav Ganguly, Viv Richards, and all other regular six hitters that you can think of.

3. He gives as good as he gets

Thirty-six is the answer and Herchelle Gibbs is the only one who has done it in an ODI, and Yuvraj Singh in a T20. But, no one has scored heavily off six deliveries as regularly as Afridi has. He has scored more than 25 runs in an over in an ODI on 4 different occasions.

4. His strike rate

Afridi doesn’t hold the record for the highest career strike rate in ODIs anymore, but he has the highest career strike rate in ODIs for batsmen that have scored more than 600 career runs. Not only that, but Afridi has played a whopping 16 ODI innings, in which he has managed a strike rate above 200! That is more than what any other batsman has managed. The next best in the list is his compatriot Abdul Razzaq who has managed the feat seven times.

5. He started young

Afridi holds the record of being the youngest ever ODI batsman to score a century. He was only 16 when he scored the fastest ever ODI century.

6. He is among the best

Only Inzamamul Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Saeed Anwar, Javed Miandad, and Saleem Malik have scored more ODI runs for Pakistan than Afridi has.

7. He is multi-talented

Afridi is the 10th highest wicket taker of all time in ODI cricket. Only Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis have taken more wickets in ODIs for Pakistan than Afridi! This says something considering the high quality of bowlers that Pakistan has produced over the years.

8. And you say he is not a quality spinner…

More wickets than Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, and Abdul Qadir for Pakistan in ODIs. Muralitharan, Anil Kumble, and Sanath Jayasuriya are the only spinners who have taken more ODI wickets than Afridi has. Yes, Afridi has more ODI wickets than Shane Warne!

9. He gets them out consistently

Afridi is in a very elite company of bowlers who have taken five or more 5-wicket hauls in ODI cricket. He has done it 5 times, and only Wasim, Waqar, and Saqlain have done it more times for Pakistan.

10. And you say he is not consistent as a bowler

Afridi has achieved the feat of taking four wickets or more in an ODI inthree consecutive games. That is as many as the best of them have.

11. He bowls them over a lot

Only six other bowlers have got their wickets bowled out more times than Afridi has. He sits 7th on the list, joint with the one who is regarded the greatest of them all – Glenn McGrath!

12. Very few have won games for Pakistan as many times as he has

Shahid Afridi has won the man of the match award for Pakistan in ODIs as many as 24 times! That is the same number of times as Inzamam has. Only Saeed Anwar has managed it more times for Pakistan – 28. That is more man of the match awards than Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and the many other match winners that Pakistan has produced!

13. He catches them too

Only Inzamam and Younis Khan have caught more catches for Pakistan than Afridi has.

14. No one has been as dominant as him with the ball for Pakistan

The 21 wickets that Shahid Afridi took in the ICC World Cup 2011 is the most that any Pakistani has ever taken in a single series. Only Waqar Younis has equalled the feat. That is also the most wickets any Pakistani has taken in a World Cup.

15. He’s among the best allrounders in the world

Besides Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi, no one else has scored more than 6,000 ODI runs and taken more than 300 ODI wickets. Afridi is also among the few allrounders who have scored a 50 and taken five wickets in the same ODI.

16. He does it in T20 cricket too

How many times have you heard that T20 cricket is not for the bowlers? Shahid Afridi is the highest wicket taker in T20s. He also holds the record for the best bowling figures in a T20 by a captain. Only Umar Gul has taken four or more wickets in a T20 more times than Afridi has.

17. No one has won more T20 games for their country than he does

Afridi has won the man of the match award in a T20 6 times, which is more than any other cricketer in the world.

18. His bat also talks in T20s

Afridi has scored 50+ in a T20 in 3 consecutive games. Only Brendon McCullum has done it more times (4).

I might have missed a number of other Shahid Afridi records and feats in limited overs cricket, but this is quite a comprehensive list to quiet down all the critics that he has.

You still think that he is not a match winner?

That he doesn’t deserve to play for Pakistan?

That he doesn’t deserve to captain Pakistan in ODIs and T20?

“Well Pitched” has always regarded Afridi as Pakistan’s most valuable player, but even I wasn’t aware of how much Afridi has achieved during his cricket career for Pakistan.

This should be an eye opener for everyone.

I sincerely hope that he doesn’t miss any international cricket for Pakistan and continues to achieve more than he already has on the cricket field – not only for Hampshire and other domestic sides in Australia and Sri Lanka, but also for Pakistan.

Keep going Boom Boom!

umair.qazi

Umair Qazi

An investment advisor in Dubai who blogs at www.wellpitched.com/ and tweets @WellPitched

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

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Let bygones be bygones, look for new talent who is more consistent, mature and serious in playing cricket.Recommend

  • http://MountainView Vinayak

    Also, he can become the cricketer who has resigned most number of times.Recommend

  • God Father

    The Author also missed another unique record that only Afridi holds in world cricket to date… Chewing Cricket Ball ;)Recommend

  • Nabia

    @Tanzeel:

    he is not by gone person he is alegend ,he should be in team for @ least 4 yearsRecommend

  • Nabia

    impressive,he should be in team with all youngster for @ least 4 years……..Recommend

  • Maira

    Excellent blog. Now critics, just shut your mouths. Waiting eagerly to see him again in international arena.

    One more point. Most good looking cricketer of the world after Imran Khan.Recommend

  • Saad

    Lala rocks !Recommend

  • Columbus

    i salute u rather than afridi for the search and research……… Recommend

  • ML

    there is still more to him as a cricketer. and we do not want to utilize that talent and instead let money minters stay in the lead. bravo! its a shame we let good talent go waste based on some hidden political agendas. everywhere in this country is disappointment for a regular grounded patriot. they had to do it to cricket too. Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    @Nabia:
    Self obsessed Afridi has already said Goodbye to Team Pakistan by formally announcing his retirement. If he comes back it will be his another U turn followed by revocation of his petition against PCB in Sindh High court.Recommend

  • abhi

    Point 5 is very interesting! Recommend

  • abhi

    While mentioning “Afridi has scored 3 out of the 10 fastest 100s ever scored in ODIs” author forgots to tell that apart from these 3 fastest centuries he has only 3 more ODI centuries in his name from 303 innings. And he also has an enviable average of 23.49 runs in ODI.Recommend

  • Adil

    This is the habit of Pakistani Nation to forget and criticize those who really done well for this nation. Take the example of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.Recommend

  • Raja Naveed

    @Tanzil he announced conditional retirment, He said that he will not play under this management and under those who dont know how to respact big players. Look at indian test team all the old guys are still playing. If you get younis, yousuf and misbah in the batting side along with asad shafique and umar akmal who will say pakistan is a bad team …. I dont know how can you spoil your cricket.Recommend

  • Umer Iqbal

    His batting is similar to his way of communicating.
    He needs a little more patience in handling media situations and should keep certain feelings to himself rathe than blurting them out.
    His return to the squad may not probably add much to the batting, but it definetly brings down our oppositions confidence when they face him.

    Boom Boom. Recommend

  • b.M

    AFRIDI = Pure Awesomeness!Recommend

  • Taimoor Hassan

    Kamaal article… LOVED IT !!
    Bus LALA ki pic aur achi lagai ja sakti thi :DRecommend

  • saleem

    good article,i think some peaple jealous with afridi thats why they hate him and love baba misbah.Recommend

  • http://facebook.com/habibees Surkhab

    Boom Boom AfridiRecommend

  • Bilal Ahmad

    @abhi:
    get a life man… atleast u should have the heart to appreciate someone’s efforts…don’t be a loser..Recommend

  • Bilal Ahmad

    very well written article… I am amused by the facts and figures… I just pray that PCB gets some reasonable person who has brain in his head to take good decision for not only players but alos for Pakistan Cricket…. PCB sucks..Recommend

  • ch subbarao

    Afridi has to relax for some time and do lot of practice before entering highest level cricket,above all he should control his anger and emotionsRecommend

  • malik

    He chucks his faster one and umpires and other officials are afraid to report him, for fear of backlash from the rageboys of Pakistan….

    He Chucks. And He was not 16 when he made his debut.

    Everything about him has an air of insincerity and dishonesty !!Recommend

  • Asad

    Funny to see indian trolls bashing Afridi. I am not a fan but just fun to see how indian trolls are irked by him for some reason.Recommend

  • OMER

    WOW!!!! Lala u r amazing!!!!Recommend

  • rehmat

    @abhi:
    True . He has himself admitted in an interview that most cricketers in Pakistan reduce their age by 2-3 years and he is part of that. Yet despite knowing the facts if some people want to give him credit for something he does not deserve…

    Yes he is a good player and deserves a spot in the team. PCB did not ask him leave cricket, they just removed him as a captain. It was his own decision to leave the team. Somehow people seem to forget that.Recommend

  • Samir

    @ Asad – proud Pakistanis also feel embarrassed by his cheating, his politics, and his dumb comments. Why should we be proud of someone who makes Pakistan look bad? Do we enjoy being the butt of jokes around the world?Recommend

  • Maaz Gilani

    amazing stats ! (Y)Recommend

  • God Father

    Asad: you mind taking any specific names ?Recommend

  • Kashan Khan

    Batting average of 23 , bowling average of 34 with less then wicket a match. 24 MOM awards in 325 matches. Least batting average (for a batsman) for some one who has played more then 300 matches. Highest bowling average for some one who has played more then 300 matches. Yes , you are right no one does it like afridi. Recommend

  • ghulam rasool

    Afridi retirement is conditional and will come back once the current non sense PCB management is removed. Afridi’s critics are either biast or do not have a clue of cricket. Recommend

  • Gohar

    So many hard hitter arrived on cricket pitch but still after fifteen years no one Broke his record of fastest century.Recommend

  • Aneela

    afridi is unique, people bring up the fact he has done some stupid this in his time, but come on who doesnt??? stop fretting on th negative and think about the the good things he has gone for pakistan cricket :)Recommend

  • Huma

    Love the article…Love him or hate him no1 can ignore him,when he’s playing he demands attention,he’s box office.And for those who are constantly putting him down need to look at other players in pak team or any other team and see no one is perfect, and as for him biting a cricket ball look at his intention he wanted to win not the right way to go about it but atleast he wasnt selling his country and fixing the match!
    OH and another achievement.. HE IS BEST LOOKING CRICKET PLAYER CURRENTLY !Recommend

  • Shehryar Zuberi

    Good Article. One of the best One Day cricketer we ever had.Recommend

  • God Father

    @ huma: so ur tryin to justify his cheating???? a student got caught in exams while cheating…don’t call him cheather & luk at his intentions he wanted to secure good marks!!!!!! Recommend

  • Be a Rebel

    This is Pakistan, no one cares about the achievements. its all about how good relations you have with Butt saab.Recommend

  • Rashid

    Well no one can doubt his cricketing abilities in T20 and “blunders” that he made in one day cricket but he can never become a good captain on an international stage. He made a wonderful Pakistani squad to lose in world cup due to his zero game planing and on the contrary, Dhoni made a poor Indian side to seize the trophy due to his captaincy. Recommend

  • Ejaz Hussain

    he is a great player and holds world record more than any pakistani players and these poeple says that afridi has no role in pak cricket and salman butt said that his absence from pak cricket will nt impact on pak cricketRecommend

  • Jalal

    .. yes he is the only player along with younus khan to be hated by Mazhar Majeed, for not liking corruption and selling you country.
    .. he has never been doubted for match fixing.
    .. he like imran khan and waseem akram combined a team as a captain. he is only one to do so in extreme team crisis.

    today we need sincere player more than anything else. who else has performed well in the team in last 5 years. no one so only afridi shouldn’t be target of critisim.Recommend

  • rani

    @Maira:
    he is really handsome
    i love himRecommend

  • Mazher Arshad

    I wonder why Blogs on Tribune are always filled with envious critics. I hardly see people praising the the author who writes. Even if they are willing to admire they suppress it by praising the topic rather than the author.

    Even in this very Blog I can see people who are telling what the author missed but not praising what the author has mentioned.

    Though I don’t like Afridi that much for various reasons but hatf off to author of the Blog for providing such rare information. Well doneRecommend

  • Amer

    Awesome blog! Really enjoyed reading it! I should say I was surprised with a few of the facts presented here. Afridi is and will always be the king of our hearts. He will come back to Pakistan cricket inshAllah, when these Butts etc will be gone.
    Its no surprise to see creepy indian trolls putting up comments that always reflect this mentality. Get a life guys! or better yet just piss off already! Recommend

  • Khan

    Love this piece! Honestly, Afridi really deserves A LOT more credit than he is given by us. He really does. I had resigned from watching Pakistani cricket for several years, but he is the one who brought me back to watching cricket and loving it as one should. I hope and pray that wherever he plays, for whichever team, he delivers his best. Recommend

  • Hiba

    Lala Love! He rocks! Recommend

  • Afridi’s Angel

    Thanks for this article—a nice collection of facts and statistics on our darling Boom Boom :) Recommend

  • Ayaz

    people complain what Afridi has done for the team. I tell them what he has done. Do people remember what happened to our team in England last year? Team’s three top players were banned from playing. Who lead the team to fight for 3-2 against Eng? Who lead the team to fight once again 3-2 vs SA? Who brought the first ODI series win for the country in about 2 years against NZ? Who lead the team (very inexperienced one) right from the front in the WC?

    Unfortunately we Pakistanis have a habit of tainting our own legends. Afridi is a legend, he will always be. The majority of Pakistanis will always support him. Boom Boom Afridi. We love you Afridi. Pakistan ZindabadRecommend

  • salman

    no man afridi jaisay bohot hain but akhtar jaisa koi nai …..Recommend

  • bikas

    did u just said ”That is more man of the match awards than Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and the many other match winners that Pakistan has produced”……these players r legends,they r once in a generation player,srry once in a millenium player and u just insulted them,ur 50% comments is about afiridi being very fast scorer and big hitter,that in no way enough to induct him in the hall of fame,yes he’s improved as a bowler but still he’s not counted as the best bowler or best allrounder,getting so many bowled wont make him better than wasim,waqar, and most of the times he tries to play just bang bang and he’s the only player in the cricketing world who does that always disregarding the situation so its obvious that he’s faster than other batsman but that also proves that y he’s so inconsistent,pak was a terrific team in 1980′s & 1990′s coz of players like miandad,imran khan,akram,waqar etc coz these r the players who plays according to the situation and for the team and not for glory…Recommend

  • Hamna

    Pakistan has produced legends but sorry author he is just an average cricketer. Though his efforts for Pakistan cricket is commendable but still he will fail more than succeed. He is not a legend. Still if he comes back, he is most welcome.Recommend

  • Ejaz Hussain

    he is more than a legend of cricket, see him a cricketer not as a batsman. his sucess is more than any cricketer for Pakistan except saeed anwar…. great words wrritten by authorRecommend

  • Naveed Ahmed

    @ Asad: I like your comments :)Recommend

  • Name.. What’s that..

    afridi having more wickets than warnie doesnot make him better than warnie.. the point you were trying to prove is that afridi is not absolutely worthless.. well if it took you so much of the stats and facts then you are yourself skeptical about his worth. I guess he’s over now. The best of him is gone. He sure had his moments. he’s too catchy for the eye and that’s it. Recommend

  • zeeshan ahmed khan

    jigur hai apna..team mien rahay..ya na rahay…Recommend