Shahid Afridi: Our true all-rounder

Published: July 6, 2012

Afridi's latest decision to contribute towards the attempt to ‘smash’ polio out of Pakistan is noble and courageous. PHOTO: REUTERS

The one word that I would use to describe Shahid Afridi is ‘exasperating’.

His tendency to throw away his wicket at a rush-of-blood moment has many Pakistani cricket fans, including myself, clutching our heads in our hands. He has also displayed this spirit off the field, with frequent retirement announcements and press comments that have jeopardised his captaincy. And of course, who can forget the ball biting and the dancing on the pitch incidents?

Despite all this, every so often Shahid Afridi pulls off a stunt that leaves us all in awe and simply inspired.

His latest decision to contribute towards the attempt to ‘smash’ polio out of Pakistan is noble, courageous and has left me saying ‘respect, deep respect!’

By helping to eradicate polio one can only hope that the children of Pakistan will have a chance of a brighter and fuller future.

Let us not forget that today there are only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic; Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Polio is a disease that can cause paralyses in a matter of hours and if left untreated, it can be fatal even.

Afridi’s act is a courageous because by doing this he has chosen to go head-to-head against the Taliban and al Qaeda militants who infest the north western borders of Pakistan. These militants have banned polio vaccinations from the region as they see it as a western conspiracy against Muslims. By doing so these groups have put nearly a quarter of a million Pakistani children at risk.

In today’s Pakistan, which is plagued by bad governance, widespread corruption, target killings and unchecked militancy, it is heartening to see a public figure stepping up to his social responsibility.

Shahid Afridi is a true Pakistani, who has on many occasions, done Pakistan proud and continues to do more.

This only goes to show that a person does not necessarily need to be politicised or take laws in their own hands or shed blood to do well for his or her country. If one wishes to serve humanity, one can do so by contributing towards a cause which has a large impact on those who are helpless.

We have great examples of admirable men and women such as Dr Ruth Pfau, Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan, Bilquis Edhi, Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi, Imran Khan and Shahzad Roy, amongst others, who have served and continue to serve the people of Pakistan. They are actively raising awareness related to issues which affect people on a daily basis.

Would it not be heartening to see more high-profile men and women step up and raise their voices against the social deterioration that we face today?

Yes, I do emphasise the role of high profile individuals in fronting any such cause simply because of the mileage and the instant impact it can have on all those who can relate to them. We all know that celebrities have a certain influence on people and that most people consider them as role models. In effect, those who admire Shahid Afridi, for instance,  are probably already thinking of joining him for the cause he has decided to support.

We have examples of people already doing this within Pakistan and on the global front, for example Steve Waugh’s charity work in India, Bob Geldof’s work against famine in Africa and John Lennon’s anti-war advertisements in New York.

But of course, this in no way diminishes the responsibility that every Pakistani has. I will leave you with the words of an American but it certainly is something we Pakistanis would do well to reflect on:

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” John F Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America.



Shoaib Hussain

A fellow of the institute of actuaries who has been living in London since 2004. Shoaib was born in Quetta and went to school in Karachi.

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

  • Syed Ali Zia Jaffery

    Shahid Afridi, you are the pride of Pakistan for sure.

    This is why my upcoming book on him is titled

    Boom Boom Afridi: The proud son of PakistanRecommend

  • still a legend

    Good Luck Syed Ali Zia Jaffery :)

    on a side note: yes, we need to awake the sense patriotism in us pakistanisRecommend

  • Hashmi

    A true representative of Pakistan. A role model for the young.Recommend

  • Saba Javed

    very well written.. :)Recommend

  • B A

    excellent read. goodluck boom boom!Recommend

  • Lubna Ashraf

    A refreshing read! Good job Afridi – time to give more coverage to such efforts Recommend

  • BoomBoom PAKISTAN

    nice work Shahid Bhai…… are the proud of you………..MAY ALLAH PROTECT YOU………PAKISTAN ZINDABADRecommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    Yes, a true all rounder.

    Also Afridi is omnivorous in truest sense. He can eat veggies, non-veggies and even balls.Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    @BoomBoom PAKISTAN

    Are you taliban? what do u mean by Boom Boom Pakistan?Recommend

  • striker

    great article. may many more influential pakistani’s do the same kind of work.. good luck shahid bhai.Recommend

  • mamoon javed

    Well a noble thought let’s hope Afridi sees this one through ….. Good job shoaib on articulating how difficult its become in Pakistan to even do a good thing…..its a madhouse….let’s hope some sanity prevails soonRecommend

  • shaista javed

    nteresting read. the cricket stars have stepped in to help pakistan become a better country to live. imran khan has stepped in to eradicate corruption & now afridi has decided to help eradicate polio. both are life threatners & both hamper progress…i hope more younsters decide to help PAkistan create a bettter image…its tough to do good things in Pakistan but faith in Almighty & strong determination will see us through.. its good young writers like shoaib point out basic creates awareness…well done!Recommend

  • shaista javed

    interesting read… cricket stars have stepped in for the betterment of their country,Pakistan.Imran khan is making efforts to eradicate corruption, & now Afridi is making efforts to eradicate polio. both are threats to human life & both hamper progress. Its heartening that shoaib has written an interesting aritcle highlighting the basic issues faced by Pakistan…such writeups create awareness & ultimately help fight issues that are hindering progress. Recommend

  • right on

    agree with the writer on this! its all about stepping up and not being misledRecommend

  • right on

    good one Mr Hussain!Recommend

  • shaista javed

    Interesting read.. commendable that cricket stars are now working hard to do something worthwhile for their country.Imran Khan trying hard to eradicate corruption & afridi trying to safe future generations from polio…both corruption & polio are not only undesirable but also hamper progress. From shoaib article we can understand the hardships faced by the citizens to improve their own country..such articles create awareness,which is essential to bring about good changes,,Recommend

  • Sameer 123

    very interesting. i had no idea shahid bhai was doing this.. thankyou for the awareness and goodluck sb!Recommend

  • Adnan Shahid

    we love you Shahid and we proud of youRecommend

  • BoomBoom PAKISTAN

    @mr. righty rightist:
    no but is it necessary to mention your name???? i love my country more then my nameRecommend

  • BoomBoom PAKISTAN

    @mr. righty rightist:
    i am not taliban actually i love Boom Boom and Pakistan more then myself….Recommend

  • GQ

    A thought provoking read indeed! It’s easy to blame a government for not providing or supporting its people. But the most change can occur when people who have the means to influence or help people, actually step up and make a difference! Shahid Afridi is a national hero who has on countless occasions made his country proud!Recommend


    Great article Shoaib, a wakeup call for all Pakistanis to stand up and do their share HONESTLYRecommend

  • ZNZ

    How true. I mean about his being exasperating at times! I am sure you are one of many hair-pullers when he is at his exasperating best!

    But all that is overshadowed and forgiven in view of this initiative.

    We have had numerous great sportspersons over the decades in Pakistan who have made us mighty proud of their achievements. They had their legions of fans who would have followed their lead when they were at their height of game. Names like Asif Iqbal, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad come readily to mind. I am positive that even today they and so many others can use their positive influence and take up some of the hundreds of issues that need attention.

    Here’s wishing Shahid Afradi best wishes and God speed in this noble cause.Recommend

  • Sana Hameed Baba

    Well written Shoaib – can’t disagree :)Recommend

  • oj

    Interesting read….it is indeed a noble cause that Adridi has embarked upon and I hope his pashtun background can help him with acceptance for this cause. Fact is that the taliban and other militant organizations believe that these vaccination drives are used by the west to plant their agents in that region (Dr. Shakil Afridi case) and hence have banned polio vaccines in North Waziristan. As a result roughly 161,000 children under the age of 5 years will be denied polio vaccinations.
    The magnitude of the problem is huge and I hope Afridi can prove to be the catalyst.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    And ofcourse Mr Afridi has medica credentials to support his campaign?

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • AJ

    @Rex Minor
    Can you please clarify why one needs medical credentials to support a cause? Surely, you don’t need to be a doctor to know polio or any other disease (e.g. malaria) is harmful.Recommend

  • hassan

    There were no Polio vaccinations in the 7th century and people used to live happily then. Naturally, this western-invention is haraam, since this has not been mentioned anywhere in the Holy Book.

    If Afridi wants to do good work, he should counter the above propaganda with powerful counter-arguments and not just appear in a few advertisements. Recommend

  • Abdul Rehman Khan

    interesting read; pertinent to Pakistanis outside of Pakistan as well. Recommend

  • shaista javed

    you say that polio vaccine is not mentioned in the holy book? can u please name any vaccine or medicine or treatment mentioned in the holy that shahid afirdi can support to convince the people to use so that their generations to come can be safe from polio..Recommend

  • Afridi’s Angel

    Shahid Afridi is a true humanitarian and global icon who has never let success change his personality – he stays grounded and will always help improve the lives of his countryman/countrywomen – May Almighty Allah Bless You and I Love You Shahid Afridi :) You always inspire your fans to make their own contributions for making the world a better place to live and to help improve the lives of others :)Recommend

  • real Jordans

    Hey~~~blogger,I got a mass of new idears and creative thought~~most of them I agree with~~~and hope your more thoghts and new things~~then we can communicate with each other~~loRecommend