Stories about Afridi

World Cup 2011: Spinning a web

The sub-continent pitches have always been spin friendly and that’s one of the reasons why India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always produced great spinners. In the last World Cup held in these countries (1996), slow bowlers took the most wickets for all the four semi-finalists (joint, in case of Australia). Look at the line-ups of two sub-continental favourites, India and Sri Lanka. Both have selected three specialist spinners in their World Cup side. In addition, they have really useful part-timers. All of Pakistan’s pool games are in Sri Lanka. The spin provided by the pitch should be present but at ...

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World Cup 2011: The batsmen must click

With the World Cup taking place in the subcontinent, batting will play a key part in how Pakistan fares in the event. The duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad performed reasonably well in New Zealand. Shehzad is quite raw and inexperienced but remains talented and has an array of strokes at his disposal. However, whether he stands tall to pressure at the biggest stage in world cricket remains to be seen. If he manages a big innings early in the tournament, I believe he should have a good World Cup. Hafeez has been around for quite some time without cementing ...

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Shahid Afridi: Diverse narratives

Shahid Afridi, our cricket hero these days, is best known for his sixes. Irrespective of the circumstances, and engaging all kinds of risks, he hits the ball with all the force at his command. From then on, it is entirely up to the ball. It may cross the boundary or end up just inside and be caught. On his return from Mohali he issued a statement that must rank alongside his historic sixes. Hit hard and high, the ball appeared to have landed far from the cricket field and into the political arena. There’s been a lot of hue and cry ...

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Afridi for the win!

I am glad that Pakistan won the series. No surprise there. I am Pakistani; of course I would be happy for my country’s victory. However, there is another reason why I am glad we won today. It is because now, Shahid Afridi will most probably be retained as captain. The lack of trust that the management has shown in the captain of the national team, for me, has been confusing and somewhat frustrating as well. When Pakistan won the Test series under Misbahul Haq, I, although not entirely of the view, felt inclined towards the possibility of Misbah captaining the ...

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Why ‘Boom Boom’ should be captain

With the cricket World Cup less than 25 days away, Team Pakistan still finds itself without a leader for the mega event. By not announcing Shahid Afridi as captain so close to the international cricket tournament, the PCB has again given us a practical example of how incompetent their management is. Why they allowed this uncertainty to prevail before such an important event is a mystery to me, and one that is so befuddling it makes me want to protest outside their office. I don’t agree with people who claim that Afridi doesn’t perform well as captain.  Although I do not ...

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Pakistani fans, battered by the bat

The definition of the battered wife syndrome is, “signs and symptoms, such as perceived inability to escape, appearing in women who are physically or mentally abused by a husband or another dominant individual.” This definition may be specific to women, but should be applied to Pakistanis. The abuser being cricket. From early on this year, the ardent cricket fan has been bombarded with humiliating incidents of limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi trying to “hear” by chomping on a ball; a humiliating white wash in Australia and the creepy phenomenon of Shoania plastered all over our TVs because of Shoaib Malik’s strange relations ...

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Making Afridi nazim: Are cricketers our only hope?

A recent letter to the editor in a newspaper suggested that Shahid Afridi be made the nazim of Karachi because: “(he) is a proud son of Karachi and is a typical Karachiite. He would make a great Karachi nazim too as and when he chooses to retire. He will also help defuse the unrealistic ethnic tensions.” I will not refute this gentleman’s opinion but am forced to wonder at the serious dearth of options in the country that have led him to this conclusion. Regardless of Afridi’s rash shots which can either lead to a boundary or being dismissed, I am a ...

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Shahid Afridi was born to lead

There is no better man than Shahid Afridi to lead Pakistan at the World Cup next year in February. Afridi may not have the guts of Mohammad Yousuf or the honest command of Younis Khan, but he has something that neither of these men do. Afridi has the ability to unite a team, have people rally around him and lift spirits even at the worst of times. He may not do it by leading from the front with the bat or the ball, but the way he lifts the team on the field, no one can. Even when he was not ...

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Pakistan are Afridi

Whisper it silently, and look around for some wood just for good luck, because it seems that Pakistan may finally have a captain. For the first time since Inzamam departed, the team really has someone in charge. This is clearly Afridi’s team – unlike the shaky Shoaib Malik era and the now-I’m-in-now-I’m-out Younis Khan tenures. (No one really expected Muhammad Yousuf to last more than a few months, did they?) The importance of a good captain cannot be overstated – unlike other popular team sports like football and basketball, the captain is a pivotal figure in cricket. Often it’s not ...

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