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Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi (Pashto: صاحبزاده محمد شاهد خان افریدی, Urdu: ) (born 1 March 1980 in Khyber Agencymarker), popularly known as Shahid Afridi ( ) is a Pakistanimarker cricketer currently playing for the Pakistani national team in the international circuit. He made his ODI debut on 2 October 1996 against Kenya in Nairobimarker and his Test debut on 22 October 1998 against Australia at Karachimarker. He is known for his aggressive batting style, and currently holds the highest career strike rate in the history of international cricket. In a recent survey, Afridi was named as the most popular cricketer in Pakistan. He also holds the record for the fastest one day century which he made in his debut innings , as well as scoring 32 runs in a single over, the second highest scoring over ever in an ODI.

Family

Afridi hails from a Pashtun family.

Style

His general style of batting is very aggressive and attack oriented and has earned him the nickname "Boom Boom Afridi" for his fastest One Day International century just in 37 balls. As of 22 May 2007, he has an ODI strike rate of 109.38 runs per 100 balls, the highest in the game's history. This attitude has been transferred to Test cricket as well, with Afridi scoring at a relatively high strike rate of 86.13 in Tests. He has an approach to batting that can change the tempo of a game and inspire the mood of an audience, as shown when a mass exodus of spectators occurred in Pakistan in late 2005 following his dismissal from the crease. He hits many sixes long and high, favoring straight down the ground or over midwicket. A trademark shot is a crossbatted flick to the leg-side to a ball outside off stump.. This explosive style has led to some memorable shots, most notably the first ever 12 in power cricket in 2002, where Afridi successfully hit the roof. However, his aggressive style increases his risk of getting out and he is one of the most inconsistent batsmen in cricket. This is reflected by the fact that he is the only player to score more than 5000 ODI runs at an average under 25.

Bowling-wise, his stock ball is the leg break, but his armory also includes the conventional off break and a 'quicker one' which he can deliver at nearly 80 mph in the style of a medium-pacer. He bowls at a high speed for a spinner, resulting in lesser turn, and relying more on variations in speed. He occasionally sends down a bouncer to a batsmen, which is very rare for a spin bowler.

International career

An innings-by-innings breakdown of Afridi's Test match batting career, showing runs scored (red bars) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line).


In October 1996 at the age of sixteen he was brought into the ODI team as a leg spinner as a replacement for the injured Mushtaq Ahmed. He then gained notability as a pinch-hitter and began opening with Saeed Anwar. He holds the record for scoring the fastest century in one-day internationals (off 37 balls), scored in only his second match and his first ODI innings. He also shares with Brian Lara the record for the third-fastest century in ODIs (off 45 balls). One of Pakistan's most useful all-rounders, he has an extremely aggressive batting style, which has garnered him over 5,000 ODI runs (including an erstwhile world-record 249 sixes, recently broken by Sanath Jayasuriya), as well as taking over 250 wickets at ODI and 47 at Test level.

For various reasons, including a perception that he lacks patience in his batting, Afridi had limited opportunity in Test matches, although he currently averages in the high thirties and mid-thirties with bat and ball respectively. As it is, Afridi has featured in less than one third of the Test Matches played by Pakistan over the course of his career. However, he made his presence felt in the third Test against India in March 2005, scoring a quick-fire second-innings half-century and taking five wickets in the match (including Tendulkar twice) to help Pakistan to win the game and register a series draw.

It is perceived that his batting struggles on bouncy pitches and against opponents like Australia, although his record against the Australians has improved over time. Although he has had success as an opener on sub-continent pitches, Afridi is often moved into the lower order as well.

Afridi was more consistent with his batting and bowling throughout 2005, starting with the tours of India and West Indies and through to the England tour. The Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer helped Afridi to reach a fuller potential by improving his shot selection and giving him free rein over his batting attitude.

In the 2007 World Twenty20, he performed poorly with the bat but brilliantly with the ball, earning the Man of the Series award, though he failed to take a wicket in the final and was out for a golden duck.

Temporary Test retirement and return

On April 12, 2006 Afridi announced a temporary retirement from Test cricket until after the 2007 World Cup so that he could concentrate on ODIs. Even then his performance in county cricket for Ireland recently had declined and he bowled better than he batted. He also claimed that the workload was too much to cope with.

However, on April 27, 2006 after much discussion with Shaharyar Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Afridi reversed his decision. Despite this, Afridi was later dropped from the Test team in early August 2006 after three quick-fire innings against England. He was placed well down the batting order, away from his more usual spot in the middle-order, and displayed flamboyantly reckless strokeplay on the bouncy English pitches, leading to short but entertaining innings.

Career Highlights

  • On 4 October 1996, playing his maiden international innings, Afridi hit the fastest One-Day century off 37 balls against Sri Lanka in Nairobimarker. His innings included 28 runs off one of Sanath Jayasuriya's overs, whose record he broke.


  • Youngest player in history to make an ODI century at just 16 years and 217 days with his 37 ball ton against Sri Lanka. It included 11 sixes and 6 fours.


  • Made a half-century from 26 balls and took 3 second-innings wickets in Pakistan's series-drawing Test victory against India in March 2005.


  • Holds the joint record with Brian Lara for the third fastest ODI century off 45 balls in April 2005 against India. This actually was the first match that witnessed the Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Ravi Shastri make him the nickname Boom Boom Afridi.


  • Equal highest aggregate sixes scored in the 50-over game, shared the legendary Sri Lankanmarker batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, and he the most sixes per innings record.


  • Scored four consecutive sixes off a Harbhajan Singh over in a Test match against India in January 2006, matching a feat that Kapil Dev achieved in 1990.




  • Holds four of the top eight fastest ODI half centuries, twice completed in 18 balls and twice in 20 balls. He has also scored a half century off just 21 balls.


  • Made 32 runs off a Malinga Bandara over in an ODI game at Abu Dhabimarker in 2007. He struck four consecutive sixes and it was the 2nd most expensive over in ODI history.


  • Afridi is only third player in ODI history to achieve the combination of 5000 runs and 200 wickets. The other players being Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya and South African Jacques Kallis.


Test Centuries

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career


Test Centuries of Shahid Afridi
Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year
[1] 141 2 India Chennaimarker, India MA Chidambaram Stadiummarker 1999
[2] 107 12 West Indies Sharjahmarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker Sharjah C.A. Stadium 2002
[3] 122 18 West Indies Bridgetownmarker, Barbadosmarker Kensington Ovalmarker 2005
[4] 103 21 India Lahoremarker, Pakistanmarker Gaddafi Stadiummarker 2006
[5] 156 22 India Faisalabadmarker, Pakistanmarker Iqbal Stadiummarker 2006


One Day International Centuries

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career


One Day International Centuries of Shahid Afridi
Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year
[1] 102 2 Sri Lanka Nairobimarker, Kenyamarker Nairobi Gymkhana Clubmarker 1996
[2] 109 65 India Toronto, Canada Toronto CSCC 1998
[3] 108* 146 New Zealand Sharjahmarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker Sharjah C.A. Stadium 2002
[4] 102 204 India Kanpurmarker, India Green Park 2005


Controversies

Pitch-tampering

On 21 November 2005, Shahid Afridi was banned for a Test match and two one-day internationals for deliberately damaging the pitch in the second match of the three-Test series against England. TV cameras pictured him scraping his boots on the pitch scuffing surface when play was held up after a gas canister exploded. Afridi later pleaded guilty to a level three breach of the ICC code of conduct relating to the spirit of the game. Inquiries were made and Afridi's antics came into view. He was investigated and banned after the day's play, along with receiving a huge amount of criticism from the cricketing world for bringing the game into disrepute.

Match referee Roshan Mahanama said: "This ban should serve as a message to players that this type of behaviour is not allowed." On this Afridi accepted his fault and said that a "senior player like me should set good examples to others because they see us to learn." His behaviour was also condemned by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Spectator Incident

Afridi was charged on 8 February 2007 of bringing the game into disrepute after he was seen on camera thrusting his bat at a spectator who swore at him on his way up the steps after being dismissed. Replays seemed to show that the action was not meant to cause injury, though the spectator had to move out of the way to avoid contact. Afridi was found guilty and given a four-game ODI suspension, the minimum possible ban for such an offense, meaning that he would miss Pakistan's first two 2007 World Cup matches. The PCB and Afridi chose not to appeal the ban, despite feeling that the punishment was excessively harsh. It should be noted that the South African Cricket administrators and the spectator were both also rebuked for playing a part in the causation of the incident.

References



External links



Notes

  1. Afridi ODI Debut
  2. Afridi Test Debut
  3. Cricket Section
  4. [1]
  5. [2]
  6. [3]
  7. http://www.spincricket.com/2009/06/12/shahid-afridi-speaks/
  8. Fastest hundreds
  9. Google videos
  10. youtube
  11. ODIs - Most runs in career
  12. youtube
  13. ODIs - Fastest Centuries
  14. Zaltzman 2009. Zaltzman, who appointed Afridi captain of his hypothetical "Unpredictable XI", also noted that, as of April 8, "His average Test innings lasts for the same length of time as Jimmy Anderson's, but contains more runs than Hussain's, Cronje's or Ranatunga's. And with the ball, he dismissed Tendulkar three times in two Tests in 2005, which is as many times as Warne managed to snare the Mumbai Maestro in his entire career."
  15. Pakistan vs India, 28 March 2005
  16. ODIs - Fastest hundreds
  17. ODIs - Youngest Centurions
  18. ODIs - Fastest hundreds
  19. Cricinfo - 5th ODI: India v Pakistan at Kanpur, Apr 15, 2005
  20. Cricinfo Most ODI sixes in career
  21. Google video's: Afridi's 4 Sixes of 4 balls vs India 2005 Test Match
  22. Fastest 100s/50s in ODI cricket
  23. Afridi banned for damaging pitch
  24. Afridi banned for scuffing pitch
  25. Giles to fly home for hip surgery
  26. Afridi calls for discipline rethink



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