Cricket Is No Cricket Without Shahid Afridi

Shahid Khan Afridi, the name says it all. At the age of 16 he started his international career and right in the 2nd match of his life, he stunned the world by scoring the fastest century of the game in just 37 balls against the likes of Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan. The record is still unbroken and ever since he has been the most popular person of the game. He excites and entertains the crowd in a manner which nobody does.

Other than Pakistan, he rendered his services to ICC World XI, South Australia, Hampshire, Deccan Chargers, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Sindh , Habib Bank and Karachi. His style of batting is generally aggressive, attack-oriented, fearless and always ready to go for a kill. He has got a tremendous strike rate of 111.65 in 293 ODI's which is itself an achievement and nobody is even near to this mark in the present era. He has the ability to turn the moods of the audience in no time. He has got an attacking approach that can win games when the team is on verge of losing it completely.

His speciality with the ball is leg-break. He has got varities which can really unsettle the batsmen at the crease. He has got faster one, off break, googly and even bouncer under his belt. He is equally handy with the ball as with the bat. He can provide breakthroughs at crucial stage and thats what makes him special.

He is the youngest player to score an ODI century at the age of 16. He holds the joint record with Brian Lara for the third fastest century in an ODI. He has so far smashed 260 6s in his career (second highest). He has so far grabbed 20 Man of the Match awards. He scored 4 consecutive sixes to Harbhajan Singh in a test match. He is the only player to score 12 runs off a single ball in a game of Power Cricket. He smashed 32 runs to Malinga Bandara in his 1 over and he is the only second player in the ODI history to achieve the combnation of 5000 runs and 250 wickets.

He was nicknamed BOOM BOOM AFRIDI by Ravi Shastri. In 2005 at kanpur, Afridi was Unstoppable. He scored 46 ball 102 runs and really stunned the crowd which kept them silent until the time he was at the crease. During his visit to West Indies in 2005, Micheal Holding Stamped something for Afridi which was really heart-winning and encouraging. He said "Cricket is no Cricket without Shahid Afridi" and thats an achievement itself.

He was involved in the controversies at the same time. In 2005, he was found guilty and hence was banned for a test match and 2 ODI's for deliberately damaging the pitch with his boot. In 2007, he was banned for 4 ODI's by bringing the game into disrepute after he was seen on camera thrashing his bat at a spectator. In 2010, he has been banned for 2 t20 matches for tampering the ball with his teeth.

Despite all the consequences, this man gave us something on 21st june 2009 which v had only dream about for years. A World Cup. A T20 World Cup which we would never ever forget. It was his brilliance that he managed to perform in 2 big games (semi final and the final) both with the bat and with the ball. He was awarded Man of the Match award in both the games.

I wish Shahid Khan Afridi all the very best for his future and I m pretty sure that this man has the ability to bounce back and he will for sure INSHALLAH. He will be back with a bang on 20th Feb 2010 and will again give us all the reasons in this world to smile and cheer. As rightly said "Cricket is indeed no Cricket without Shahid Afridi"
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