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Why Afridi continues to play

Published Oct 19, 2012 04:17pm


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shahid afridi, pcb, pakistan cricket board, pakistan cricket, pakistan world twenty20, pakistan wt20, world twenty20, raza hasan, hammad azam, english football team, afridi, misbah-ul-haq, waqar younis
The memes, the posters and the profile display pictures are no more. No longer does he inspire remixes nor are his exploits celebrated in his mother tongue. Barely eighteen months on from being celebrated as the reincarnation of Jinnah, Shahid Afridi is being dragged down from the pedestal he was put upon – it is pertinent to note that he was hoisted onto that pedestal by the same nation who is now determined to bring him down. Afridi’s presence in the national team has divided the spectators with the loudest and the most extremist viewpoints being presented as the two truths. His supporters claim that he is the best thing since the helmet grill, and is never at fault for a loss. His detractors complain about sixteen years of false promises and keeping his betters out of the team using his influence in the dressing room and the media. His retirement is asked for by many - as if that has ever solved anything (and we’ve had plenty of those anyway). Surely, there must be another truth – one that lies somewhere in between. But like any, and every, issue (and non-issue) in Pakistan, the middle-ground-truth seems hard to establish.

The first – and most obvious – mistake that Pakistanis on either side make is to assume that Afridi is a batsman of any repute. Much like the England football team, the discussion about Afridi’s batting consists of undeserved hype, outrageously high expectations and references from the distant past. For pundits employed to sell the match as a product, over-hyping Afridi makes sense. But it is senseless for fans accustomed to his ever-increasing collection of failures to raise their hopes every time he takes guard. He averages under 20  with the bat in ODIs over the last two years – certainly not the record of a messiah. A lot of great – and not that great – sportsmen overestimate their abilities once their bodies begin to creak and their reflexes begin to slow. But the fans have no need to be slaves to the delusions of an ego.  It is unreasonable to expect him to succeed with his record and ability being so apparently flawed.

But that doesn’t mean that he should be forced to retire. If we were to consider him purely a bowler, there is a pretty strong case for him being part of the national squad. Perhaps the worst – and the best – thing to happen to Afridi in his career was THAT century in Nairobi. That innings has skewed expectations and perceptions so much so that a pretty decent career with the ball is overlooked.

Over a five-year period from the start of 2007 till the end of last year he took 140 wickets in ODIs – no spinner anywhere in the world had more – at an average under 30 and economy rate of 4.5. By modern standard that is a record of a stalwart.  Furthermore, he is the 2nd highest wicket-taker in the short history of T20Internationals. And this is all before considering the “intangibles” he has provided. While he may not be the messiah, he – along with Waqar and Misbah – did resurrect the national team from the depths of Summer 2010. There’s a reason that his interpretation of the Vitruvian Man is now part of Pakistani folklore.

But there’s a caveat to all of this. The numbers given above are mostly down to his record in the five years before 2012. This year he has taken 15 wickets in 16 ODIs at an average above 40, and has had his worst year with the bat since 2006. Despite this he has only missed one of Pakistan’s 17 ODIs.

And therein lies the problem with the Pakistan setup. Pakistan’s inability to rotate has led to a culture where there are untouchables within the playing XI. Our lot complain of bench strength, even when promising young players like Hammad Alam and Fawad Alam are never given an extended run to flourish. It took two years before Raza Hasan was given a look-in: he was part of the squad for the tour of England in 2010, but only made his debut last month. It is this inability to rotate – borne out of short-termism – that has led to Pakistan having to call up tried-and-tested failures again and again. There is a middle ground between calling for Afridi’s head and putting it up on a spike; that is to ask for the XI to be chosen on form. Not really that difficult a concept to grasp.

But is it really the fault of the management? Or are they afraid of reprisals? After all, every series – nay, every match – that Pakistan plays is given overwhelming importance by the public, be it an actual big match (like the World T20) or not (like the summer ODI series against Sri Lanka). There’s a reason Afridi continues to play every match, it’s because a majority of Pakistanis continue to back him even as he struggles for fitness and form.


The writer is a sports nerd, and does not believe that opinions other than his own are valid. He can be found presenting his opinions as fact on his blog.



The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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Comments (99) Closed

Shahid Oct 19, 2012 04:52pm
I think the problem isn't even touched in this article. (1) Yes afridi can bat otherwise he could not have scored 11 international centuries and 45 fifties. Problem with Afridi is that no one could ever make him reassess his approach of trying to hit sixes from the world go. If he could only be made to understand that with the age and time approaches has to be refined then he could still score fast by with the virtue of rolling shots to start with and then when he reaches 40 he would easily see a cricket ball so big as a foot ball. (2) Our top and middle orders have always slowed the scoring rate to the extent that team strategy seems to rely on Afridi, Razzaq and others to score 12 per over as soon as they enter the field. They put an unjustifyable pressure on allrounders which requires them to try hitting sixes every ball (3) Afridi's bowling hasn't given results because an allrounder will always suffer in both abilities when under pressure due to any one of the ability not working. AFRIDI's failure is a coach's failure who can't manage his abilities and make him plan his innings in a bit different way than he always did. It is time for him to leave the glamourous way of hitting big sixes but instead play for his country. Just recall the two innings in the T20 tiltle we won where both his 50's were without attempts of high flying shots but still with a scoring rate of 150. (I'm not a diehard Afridi fan and this is my objective analysis)
Zafar Ahmed Oct 19, 2012 11:41am
Let Shahit bathid Afridi says goodbye to cricket as he can not bat or bowl, any more and let him concentrate somewhere else for bread & butter
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:44am
We don't have super stars except maybe Saeed Ajmal. Others are marginal cricketers. Our hallmark is hustle and unorthodox cricket which makes us unpredictable for short stretches. These players will not get better with rest or break.They are only capable to produce what u see on the field.
Karachi Wala Oct 19, 2012 03:05pm
@Ahmed Ali, with all due respect to you and Afridi, can you elaborate on
no to toppi drama Oct 19, 2012 07:51pm
Yes, keep on testing & hope 1 day he will perform.wat a joke and only in Pak... Do not talk about past results; that was his time and now time is over.. if you guys still want him to try than bring inzi back in and put your money on him or bring REAL PAKI BOOM BOOM back in team Arshad Mahmood..
Proud Pakistani Oct 19, 2012 07:08pm
he will be much older than
Faisal Taquie Oct 19, 2012 05:54pm
I think Afridi's batting talents have not been washed away. He is out of form and the last three times I have seen him bat, he wants to get back in form by hitting the first ball for six. That unfortunately has not paid out as he has been out the first ball, in the last three or four matches. The management should be savvy enough to have him open when there are only two fielders in the deep and he can play his shots to get back in form and when is in form, he can do some damage. I seriously think he should open in T20 and ODI. You need a maverick like him at the top of the order.
Abdullah Hussain Oct 19, 2012 02:02pm
Last chance for him to show off or be shown off. Physiologically he is stressed, he may come out or he may fade out, all depends on him & his confidence.
pkhan Oct 19, 2012 02:01pm
I still believe he is worthy for T20 format. Dont forget he played the key role in T20 world cup win few years back.
kass khan Oct 19, 2012 01:59pm
He should be kicked out of team. He does not deserve to play. He can not handle the pressure and throws his wicket at the very first ball he faces. There are so many good players are waiting to get a chance to play... You do not need someone on the team who perform with the bat only once a year.
Ahmed Ali Oct 19, 2012 01:19pm
There are very few players left with the kind of energy he has. Lala's experience is in itself very important on the field. I would be in full support of him retiring if his bowling also went down like his batting. But a player with a decent performance (yes, leaving aside this season- his performance has been very decent) and 15 years of experience should not be asked to retire due to one bad season.
Shaid Afridi Jr Oct 20, 2012 01:11am
Karachii Wala, you are the most educated critic I have seen on this topic. What a great analyssi. Nirobi century... a false promise. Salute to you
azhar Oct 19, 2012 01:19pm
all the comments made above r quite embrassing and harsh infact these comments r quite nonesense as well,, afridi bhas been playing well since the start of his carrier either with the bat or bowl or in the field, yeah its quite right he has nt been delevering with the bat for the last couple of year but it doesnt make sense to draw him out of team ,, plz kindly u must learn to respect ur stars....
Javed H. Ghori Oct 20, 2012 09:27am
Afridi is the father of modern cricket it's he who changed the boring and slow style defensive cricket into what an explosive, entertaining and result oriented cricket. There were no signs of T20 in 1996/97 (the year sof his debut) but his style was absolutely devastating and people loved to see his cricket. Don't forget it was not peshawar or karachi, but were cities like Lahore, Failsalabad and Multan when people left the stadium all of a sudden whenever Afridi got out. Personally I had never seen such appreciation for no one.(not even for tendulkar when he gets out in India). He has changed the mindset not accross Pakistan, but accross the world. As you can see today, every team in world have prepared fighter players like him. In this bad patch as a nation we should simply support our national hero. Ups and Downs are the part of life...
cricket lover Oct 20, 2012 09:34am
A think Afridi is the only player playing 20/20 and it is not a team game. If some one have bad patch it doesn't mean that he is use less. You can't blame one person performance is the reason of lost. He can play more then three year quite easily in 20/20 format.
Fayez Qamar Oct 20, 2012 10:02am
Dear Hassan, Please do not write such blasphemous articles about Lord Afridi. The only part i agree with in this whole article is the part where you said "...he is the best thing since the helmet grill, and is never at fault for a loss.." Well then again, that clearly displays my frame of mind. Accordingly, ignore my aforementioned remark. Your Close Friend
Razzaq Oct 19, 2012 07:36pm
Than why not call Hanif Muhammad or Zaheer Abbas or even Jawed Miandad?
Naseer Oct 20, 2012 10:15am
what can I say, he himself clarified that I am going through bad patch, it is normal thing in cricket, there are many great players, legends who have been through bad patch for quite lengthy duration of time, but they have come out of it, I know that Afridi has been generally inconsistent player, but since last 5 years or so he has become consistent with the bowl and improved a bit with the batting, has added good energy to them team through all those off field difficult times that Pak team had, they have lost some key players before major tournaments, yet they have performed extremely well under the captaincy of Afridi, his overall influnce on the team has been very good, he has been a fighter who is currently working hard on improving his game and getting out of the bad patch, but we need to show some patience, and should not lose a great asset like Afridi in irritation, his achievements are outstanding far more worthy than this kind of treatement that has been given by fans, we need to calm down flash bank at his performances that won Pakistan T20 Worldcup in 2009, and has single handed won kind of matches for Pak that everone thought were virtually lost.
HABIB Oct 19, 2012 12:42pm
How easily we forget the acheivement of the genuine all-rounder and started to say he should go now. i beleive Afridi is not more older than Misbah, who also out of form. Cheema sb has never demand for his retirement, nor he will ever demand as he is his favourite 'The King of Tuk Tuk'
Karachi Wala Oct 20, 2012 10:31am
@Ali on Umer Akmal I agree with you. But this article is about Boom Boom Afridi.
Fez Oct 20, 2012 10:44am
We Pakistanis love the word "sack". The fact that he has been in the team for 17 years proves a lot of his worth. You can't remain in a highly talented team like Pakistan for 17 years, if you are not a good player. Yes he has had bad tournament. Now we need to support him. Or at least let him make his own decision when to retire. Just before this tournament, everyone wanted to sack Umar Akmal. We have always wanted to sack Misbah. We want to sack Umar Gul, Imran Nazir, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq as well. That's what we love to do !!
Karachi Wala Oct 20, 2012 10:47am
@ Asif and Ahmed Saeed. Thanks for the sense of humor. We as a nation badly need it.
AMJAD KHAN Oct 20, 2012 05:10am
Its high time that the chance should be given to Professional & Regular Batsman and Tullay Baaz should be kicked out of the Team. There is an Accountability in every team and only the Players who Performs well should be selected. Tullay Baaz have no place in the team. A player who is OUT always on the Very First Ball - He never plays more than 3-4 balls and a regular Zero in the past two years should now be rested and talented players should be taken. Its the PCB & Selectors who support him even because of his Zero Performance Consistently. GOD Save the Team. Enough is Enough - GO AFRIDI - GO, PLS GO OTHERWISE WE WILL KICK YOU OUT NOW.
faisal Oct 21, 2012 11:15am
undue public support. in my opinion, he should have been taken off the team at least 4-5 years ago.
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:40am
Age has caught up to his reflexes and poor technique. He can not hide his weakness with brute force any more.
umer Oct 20, 2012 05:30am
Dude ,Raza Hassan should thank the nation for giving him a chance to be part of the national team touring England. Whether he played in the actual eleven is immaterial.
Salman Oct 20, 2012 01:45am
I think he should be dropped from the team for a couple of series.He should play domestic cricket for a while and get back into the team based on his performance in the domestic circle rather then his stardom status!!
Raja Parekh Oct 20, 2012 07:30am
What has happened to this large hearted man? If his heart is expanding then that is not a sign of good health.- An Indian.
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:52am
Check those innings again.he does not last past 10 balls on average .There is still plenty to bat for when he comes out. How do u explain all the "ZEROS" that he gets these days.
Cricket Oct 20, 2012 05:33am
Yes you are right, but we need to understand why it only works wonders when he is a capt? The answer is... He likes to be a center of attention. Posters around the cities, show his power, show off we can say.
mustafa Oct 19, 2012 07:39pm
i think it is the right time for afridi to retire he served enough to entertain people now let the young guns come in and show the class and entertain people ,,,,,,,,,
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:49am
LOL,check again.
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:47am
Bread and butter u said. Worry about your OWN ,dude. He is pretty stacked for generations.
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:45am
He WAS good , and that's some time back in the past. He has pretty much run out of goodwill.
Anujah Maria Oct 20, 2012 07:21am
I am an ardent fan of Shahid Bhai & i agree that he is out of form but lets not forget the days in which he proved to be the star & winning matches single handed for his team & country. Why do we criticize him for not playing? it is becz we over expect things from him, so lets not expect him to explode but to play a fair game and as well to prove his abilities. lets back him as fans & not let him down as he needs alot of support. Every player as his own day to perform & so does afridi! Just becz he isn't performing he doesn't have to quit, as he still has the ability to play. God bless you Shahid Bhai!
iqbal Oct 20, 2012 02:31am
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:42am
Absolutely. He has served us well. But there is a time to go and he must go out now when people still have high regard for him.
syed ali naqi Oct 20, 2012 06:24am
i agree with azhar. there are manners to show every reaction and so does in case of matter how angry you are
zabih Oct 20, 2012 06:30am
You all loosers let Afridi decide and leave him alone. You all bunch of useless giving your point ofview on someone who still knows more than you. This one for the writer, get yourself a job.
Karachi Wala Oct 19, 2012 01:39pm
@Hasan Cheema, you say
Fazal Oct 19, 2012 10:07pm
Afridi will retire in 1 year to play in more lucrative 20/20 leagues around the world. Simple as that. It's time for a youngster take his spot as we should be preparing a squad for the next world cup right now.
Ahmed Ali Oct 19, 2012 01:13pm
Cheema saab - you got the bulls eye. Perfect analysis. He does not need to be kicked out, he needs to be benched for a while. Our management needs to understand that criticism is part of our culture, if theyre blamed that Paksitan lost cause afridi was benched, thats okay. Eh, they are already getting criticized for losing due to afridi. Shahid Afridi is a legend. What he has done for Pakistan cricket, maybe no body ever has or can ever do, he needs to be respected and treated as a national hero for that. But that in no way suggests that he should be in the playing XI even during his bad form.
Sami Oct 21, 2012 08:39am
While Afridi didnt perform to win the Semi against Sri Lanka, where was the rest of the team...Gone asleep (after Afridi took that crucial wicket...!)...You think only Afridi matter to retire..As a nation we did it to Waseem Akram and now we forgot that blunder and cherish him...What a whimsickle nation we could be..
maazalisyed Oct 19, 2012 12:00pm
I personally think that there is a very big influence of the sponsors Afridi has, Almost every major brand of Pakistan is his sponsors,,, having so much invested in one single player, it only make sense that these sponsors are putting pressure on both PCB and Shahid Afridi... Afridi is going to retire but as a hero... they are all betting on the series against India, if Afridi performs there, ha can announce his retirement and despite of staggering career he will be declared as greatest cricketer...
bilal Oct 19, 2012 12:03pm
Past his best .. and we should move forward now.. Otherwise we will remain Out of the top3 in all the version standings ..Plz quit >> Afridi n Razaaq
Tanveer Aftab Oct 19, 2012 06:20pm
What a joke.
Que Oct 19, 2012 04:46pm
Please STOP accessing Afridi! He can still single handedly win games for Pakistan... Yes that is a fact! So stop it guys; leave him alone and time will tell that the Pakistan team is incomplete without him... Afridi you still Rock!!!
omii Oct 21, 2012 09:29am
i am agree with the writer .he is a bowling alrounder rather than a betting and he did well when ever, he called for bowling .not the rite tym to retire give hm a chance atleast ppl
Javid Shirazi Oct 21, 2012 06:40am
Without living in the past, please be realistic. Age has caught up with him. Time to induct fresh blood and move on.
Ahmer Oct 21, 2012 06:38am
Highly talented? he has been pathetic for last few years. It is better he retires with grace or is thrown out. What has he done to deserve a place in the team? For last 17 years his batting is pathetic. He has not yet learned how to bat for last 17 years.
Kashif Oct 21, 2012 04:04am
Cheema, why do you have a problem with him playing? what about others such as Malik, Misbah there is a long list... Afridi still on his bowling form can make it to any side in the world. He is going through a bad patch, with the bad, but rest assured every cricketer goes through that in his career. I earnestly believe it was wrong to sack afridi after the world cup and most of my compatriot Pakistanis would still agree with me.
Dilawer Figar Oct 21, 2012 03:37am
Let's get the emotions out of the the team selection. Lets statistics decide the team selection. If things don't work out then blame the statistics. It is very simple that let the performance translate into numbers and number should decide selection of demotion. This is the only way you can stop the dead wood getting in from back door and also this is the best way to curb nepotism. J
Baba Ji Oct 21, 2012 02:30am
Why do people keep on talking about Hammad. Has any body looked at his averages - they are pretty average.
Khurram Oct 19, 2012 01:54pm
We need to give him full authority - no fielders in the ground and no umpires, and lbw and bowled-out are not an option to get him out. If you give any cricketer that many chances to play he would do at least 2x what Shahid has done, except that century - which he has been milking throughout the career.
Arvind Oct 19, 2012 12:15pm
Wow ! Can't believe these comments are coming from Pakistanis. And I always thought he was some kind of a demi God. Personally ,I think , he is a class apart. Arvind Das
yousaf. m javaid. Oct 20, 2012 11:43pm
please let AFRADI AND RAZAQUE play for the next 3 years. and shut up for the comment. let them play cricket.
Sami Oct 20, 2012 10:03pm
Shahid Khan Afridi has a lot of backing from the Pakistani Public.
Ahmed Saeed Oct 19, 2012 01:40pm
I bet he won't.
FRA Oct 19, 2012 01:40pm
Give him full authority as a captain and not a puppet, then wait for at least 12 months and then judge him.
impala Oct 20, 2012 09:53pm
Key word - 'Few years back'. That's in the past. Great Hanif Mohammad played in the past! Afridi is over-long time ago.
KarachiFrog Oct 19, 2012 01:46pm
Sadly, Mohsin, it's unlikely Afridi will ever return to the magnificence of his earlier years, regardless of how much rest he's given. He's reached the age where reflexes & the ability to retain fitness are in decline. Perhaps Shahid, as Gilchrist managed to do, can extend his career in IPL, Big Bash & other commercial T20 leagues but performing at the highest levels of International cricket appears over. But what a champion he has been!
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:39am
Based on WHAT? So in other words his poor form is due to his NON INTEREST. If that's the case he should be booted out RIGHT NOW.
ali Oct 20, 2012 07:35pm
I tend to agree with the writer.Afridi is a batsman of fluke trying to hit every ball out of the ground without treating the ball on merit so that he can get the crowd going. He plays for himself and not for the team specially as a batsman but as a bowler he plays for the team and not for himself, so he can be taken in the team as a bowler who can bat once in a while.Yes it is a point to ponder as to why the careers of Hammad and Fawwad have been curtailed.
Shakir Oct 20, 2012 06:06pm
You got it wrong. Its a player decision to retire or stop playing a stop. However its the responsibility of selectors and management to drop a player. Unfortunately, our selectors do not have guts to make the right decision. Look at Tendulkar, he wants to play despite his poor form, if Tendulkar would have an Australian, he would have dropped by selectors a long time ago. Look at Ponting, he wanted to play ODI, but Australian selectors dropped him. I believe Afridi can play at least 2 more years a a bowler. He is not a batsmen and I dont think he was ever a batsmen. He used to play a good inning one out of every 15.
Hyder Ali Oct 20, 2012 05:12pm
Salams, Very nice article indeed and I would like to add that every cricketer suffer a slump of form in their careers which is why it is said " Class is permanent whereas form is temporary " Shahid Afridi did a fantastic job as a captain during the world cup and was wrongly made to quit by Ijaz Butt. It seems that psychological impact of playing under leadership of inconsistent Mohamed Hafiz (who in all fairness does not deserve regular place in any format) is troubling boom boom but lets hops that he comes out of it sooner before its too late. As for selecting and backing youngsters is concerned, we have double standards in Pakistan. While the Akmal brothers seems to have some sort of royal decree to get selected after repeated failures, other cricketers like Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Mohamed Irfan, Hammad Azam, Rahat Ali etc are ignored as untouchables. After watching convicted salman but and mohamed amir as experts on reputable tv channerls in Pakistan, one can say that betting surely has future in pakistan cricket. Regards, Hyder
Ahmed Ali Oct 19, 2012 01:15pm
Najib saab- you can see the ratings of your post to know how much support you're getting.
Khan Oct 20, 2012 03:49pm
Arshad Mehmood?? I thought he was a musician : (
Taimur Malik - Australia Oct 19, 2012 01:39pm
Afridi cricket is not over, he should be rested for one series and i am sure he will come back hard although his bowling was ordinary in T20WC, he is still worth as a bowler in team....
Omar Oct 20, 2012 12:38am
Like in any other sport in the world,under performing and non performing players are benched and told to prove themselves at lower levels before getting a recall. His inclusion is handicapping the team by 1 player. He WAS a trump card till about 2 years ago. His form,timing and reflexes are gone for international level cricket.Besides, even in the best of times he fired on all cylinders every now and then. He did not adapt his batting to his deteriorating skills due to age and poor technique and HE MUST BE SHOWN THE DOOR( respectfully).
Siddique Afridi Oct 19, 2012 12:13pm
Don Oct 19, 2012 02:22pm
Ahmed sahib, Shahid has been a good player at best. He is not a legend. You can never put him in the same league has Imran, Wasim or Miandad etc. Forget them will you rate Afridi a better player than Inzi, Saeed Anwar or Waqar. Dude you need to check out the definition of a legend first !!!
taimur khan Oct 19, 2012 11:44am
One should know when to say good bye I think he played for more then 15 years of cricket.The problem with a player not taking retirement in a at-least one or two future players dint get a chance to play. I cant remember the Australian player who took retirement by himself because Michael Clark was not getting chance because of him so that's shows a man who loves cricket ,his team and his country. One should always give a chance to young players that's itself a victory.
A Shah Oct 19, 2012 11:27am
Every dog has his day and the for Afridi the cutains are down for sure. This guy has just been a complete shambles for the last few years. From his visit to India and cursing them from trying to eat the bloody ball! Get rid of this idiot please!
KoolBoy Oct 19, 2012 12:57pm
How easily People forget the things Afridi did......the T20 world cup was won because of his efforts with the ball and bat.........Hell to people of Paksitan who do not support Afridi if you can't support him in bad times don't even bother speaking about him.......Every one who plays cricket knows its not always your day.....but not forgetting that Afridi is a name....Big name and it counts......being a big Paki Fan i will still support Afridi........and for all those guys who says that he is over Wait and watch guys........
Yasin Khan Oct 19, 2012 02:15pm
who writes things like "reincarnation of Jinnah"? Why does every article written for Dawn blogs use such extravagant language? Can Dawn's editors at least proof read these articles so young bloggers don't bring down the reputation of this paper which was founded by Quaid-e-Azam
UJ Oct 19, 2012 02:15pm
Shahid Afridi is not the only player that underperformed in this World cup. I mean, forget the Pakistan team, a lot of players had bad runs in this world cup. You are forgeting that Afridi was the highest wicket taking bowler for Pakistan just a few months ago. Are you also forgeting the 50 over World Cup. Just two years ago 4 wickets per game were synonymous with Afridi. It just seems like you lose faith too often. The guy had a bad tournament, and bad by Afridi bowling standards btw. I mean I would not classify it as a bad run, just not good as we are used to seeing. The problem is of the spoilt and fickle fan. This fan will be cheering when the guy is performing, but no where to be seen when he needs support the most. Disappointed by your attitude!!!
Don Oct 19, 2012 02:09pm
Good article Cheema, but according to me Afridi is the worst thing that has happened to Pakistan cricket. He always played for the gallery , never listened to anyone. Never used his brains at all. After playing 16 years of INTERNATIONAL cricket the guy still cant control his nerves(Did I mention biting balls). He has changed the mind set of kids across Pakistan that you hit two sixes and get out is better than if somebody plays for a fifty in 60 balls. Umer Akmal is prime example although very talented but lacks mental stability just like Afridi. Who ever doesn't play for the country should be sitting out of the team till they realize that nothing comes before the country.
Ali Vaqar Awan Oct 20, 2012 07:46am
Afridi should by now retire. This his past performance speaks up. Even in this t20 world cup his bowling lacked effectivenss and even hardly made any vital contribution with bat. By playing for longer he is blocking the place of upcoming talent. In past he has done a lot for Pakistan. However, currently he has barely done any thing of significant note for Pakistan.
dilshad Oct 19, 2012 11:22am
Pakistan should be given chance to another all rounder despite useless afridi
impala Oct 21, 2012 03:29pm
But you do realize that fathers age? So has Afridi - in cricket language .
Mohsin Khan Oct 19, 2012 12:07pm
Excellent article. Afridi should be given rest for sometimes and then he will come back strongly. My best Wishes is with lala as he had given all the critcics several proud moments which they forgot very early! Allah Bless Pakistan
Abdul Mujeeb Oct 19, 2012 12:54pm
He is a very good all-rounder, he has been performing brilliantly with ball and fielding department of the game consistently. However, he hasn
Ali Oct 19, 2012 02:43pm
Why no one ever mentioned Umer Akmal failure. At least Afridi deliver with ball if not bat but Akmal is failing all around. I do not care when he scores if others have scored enough. I want to see him get us out of troubles when needed. He should play no less than V. Kohli or rested.
uae Oct 20, 2012 03:31am
Why are you guys talking about his past achievements? In that case, Miandad should be invited back to the team as weel, considering his great achievements. Afridi's stats speak for themselves. He has even lower averages (batting and bowling) than even Abdul Razzaq who has not been able to hold a permanent place in playing XI.
Razzaq Oct 19, 2012 07:34pm
Agreed by another Karachi Walla.
Asif Oct 19, 2012 11:44am
Najib Oct 19, 2012 11:44am
Asad Oct 19, 2012 05:49pm
I can hardly recall the times when Afridi won a match for us (with his batting). What I remember the most is whenever the team was in trouble and Afridi was the only hope, he never acted in a responsible way. Every time he came to the crease was just for his own sake. Without realizing the situation or his importance he went after every delivery he faced. If the man has won few matches for us, lets not forget the countless defeats he has brought. Apart from the T20 cup that we won, Afridi has never contributed with the bat in any major tournament. He should be retired by now.
Cricket Oct 20, 2012 08:25am
Can we ask Watmore to atleast give him tip to twist how bat handle when he is digging on the ground, it is already closed faced and coming from point position, no matter he can't hit anything.
waqar khan Oct 19, 2012 09:29pm
Afridi should be branded as a bowler only and ask to bat number 9.
Amin Oct 19, 2012 02:45pm
Habib Saheb, Afridi's days are spent. Misbah restored sanity to your cricket, and you Pakistanis never stop criticizing him. You think slam, blam is the way to play cricket. You are so mistaken.
Syed W. Ali Oct 19, 2012 12:26pm
Good point, PCB needs a plan to rotate the players to avoid burn out and for players to re-discover their form after a bad run.
impala Oct 19, 2012 01:10pm
A Nation does not bring one down. One is always running against time. Time sooner or later runs out. In this case it has. Afridi must not pad (or bowl) for the national team again.
Proud Pakistani Oct 19, 2012 07:17pm
not in our country , they all loose few years on their birth certicate to be under 19
Proud Pakistani Oct 19, 2012 07:13pm
by the sound of this he should join a political party
Hello1 Oct 19, 2012 05:10pm
Good piece.I have never been Afridi's admirer especially after cameras caught him trying to break up the pitch with his spikes and again literally biting the ball to roughen it up. He is probably the most over rated player around. His best performances are only in commercials of soft drinks and cell phones. However, true to traditions of this country he will not retire with grace and dignity and will wait till he is unceremoniously booted out.
HABIB Oct 20, 2012 09:05am
Just to remind you it was Afridi who re-orgainzed the team as a one unit before ODI Word Cup and he was able to take that team to Semi Final that we lost due the very special batting techniques of Misbah (no one can forget that forever). Misbah got the same team after WC with many many thanks to Ijaz Butt. Though most people realized the thing, but only some people have mistakenly passed credits to Misbah. Go and check out the history of the team before WC (with many many thanks to Salman But) and in WC(when afridi was the captain)....
ahmed zeeshan Oct 19, 2012 09:23pm
Agree... it will not be a wise decision to dump such a player who has been your key bowler for last ten years and has rescued the TEAM many times with his bat and ball. Need of the hour is to give him rest for a series and order him to play first class and work on his fitness in that duration. Then if in domestic/first class he regains his form and fitness then give him another chance.