Along with the likes of Brian Lara, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Gayle, and DJ Bravo, it could be said that the Pakistan cricket legend Shahid Afridi remains, to this date, one of the greatest entertainers the sport has seen. When Gayle calls himself ‘the six-hitting machine,’ you could say, so too could Shahid Afridi. Why?
Well, Afridi smokes 476 sixes including all formats of the games (T20Is included). But at times, it even feels that in front of Afridi’s mega six-blasting exploits, his all-round exploits remain undermined somewhat.
We mustn’t forget that ultimately, Shahid Afridi is a man with no fewer than 443 international wickets (including Tests as well as ODIs), in addition to his 8000 plus One Day International runs.
But that being said, who says that trouble doesn’t touch even the best in the business? So what’s the trouble we are talking about Shahid Afridi? Well, one of Pakistan’s most entertaining exports to the great game of cricket recently opened up about troubles he faced during the time where Shoaib Malik was at the helm of the team’s leadership.
Afridi, a man who shoots from the hip, say something like Shoaib Akhtar, another whirlwind and free-thinking Pakistani cricketer, shared in no uncertain terms the fact that things, at on stage, had gone so worse that he even thought about quitting the game that’s made him into a sensational star and one who’s still revered and not just in Pakistan, but around the world.
The right-handed big-hitter shared that things were chaotic, at best, under Malik’s captaincy and there was a lot of politics that was taking place inside the team. Speaking to Pakistan’s reputed Samaa TV, here’s what Afridi happened to share:
“I decided not to play cricket anymore. Shoaib Malik became the captain and there was a lot of politics going on within the team.”
But that’s not all; he further added, “He said you’re so worried about your own performance and worldly matters. Just compare your hardships to those of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and you will realise that yours are nothing.”
Although, Shahid Afridi retired from international cricket in 2017 after playing 27 Tests, a staggering 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is in his international career. He amassed 1716, 8064, and 1416 runs in the three formats respectively while also picking up 541 wickets across formats. And more importantly during one of the finest moments ever in Pakistan’s modern history, both Afridi and Malik were batting together, taking the team over the ropes back in the final of the widely-watched ICC Men’s T20 world cup of 2009, where it was the fantastic all-rounder who was awarded the man-of-the-match prize.
All of that being said, it must be shared that his fans may have been pleased endlessly by the decision that Afridi continued to play despite all the ensuing chaos back then inside the team for he brought great joy everywhere he played. Even today, he is a participant in several league-based cash-rich T20 leagues around the world where alongside a Gayle and Pollard and the likes, he happens to be a fantastic entertainer. Well done Lala! Keep going strong.