So apparently Shahid Afridi made it to the headlines after scoring a blistering century off just 42 balls against Derbyshire in the quarter-final of Natwest T20 Blast. He earned a lot of praise since Afridi is a cricketing icon globally, specially in the T20 format of the game. But at the same time the keyboard warriors got an opportunity to start their own World War in an attempt to stop the people who were praising Afridi.
They had many beautiful excuses of his average in all formats and how he only took 395 wickets of 398 One-day Internationals. The thing is, yes, he did take a lot of matches to take 395 wickets but he never hesitated to entertain the cricket fans all over the world. It’s about representing your country at an international level. Afridi did lack consistency since he was moved down the order in the mid 2000s but if you watch every single inning of him since then, you’ll feel as if when he wants to perform or not. Like he chooses. Haha, nah, I was joking. Afridi always had this aim to attack as much as he can, to hit the ball towards the boundary rope as much as he can. He never wanted to block a ball even once. Hit, hit, straight hit and caught at mid deep! That’s what we all probably heard from the commentators since last few years whenever Afridi came on top bat. Even one six used to be enough to charge up the crowd. His whole career is based on one thing and that is power hitting without caring about the result.
No one really wanted to switch to Sky Sports 2 or what they call now, Sky Sports Cricket until Afridi came out to open. It was a sight every 90s kid grew up watching, Afridi comes, scores runs fast and goes back. He started off with 16 in the first over. People thought he will play 10 more deliveries until he’ll be out but then he plays a pull for a six to complete his fifty. Now people expected him to score maybe 20 to 25 more runs but with in few deliveries he was at 97. Then he was at something which he didn’t have in his achievements and it was a sigh of relief for him for a moment, he was the happiest man on earth, that was a moment he might never forget. Vintage Lala! And then, few months ago when Hampshire announced his signing, and Hampshire fans tagged it as the worst signing of the season.
Afridi has been a great player for Pakistan over the years and you’ll agree to it unless you are an anti-afridian. His shots are more exciting than any other top batsman in the world right now. Because it’s Afridi and the happiness is impossible to describe when we see him playing the balls out of the park. Sometimes, even if Pakistan used to lose the match, people would celebrate Afridi’s fast knock whenever he used to play. The North Stand of Sharjah used to make charged up voices when Afridi used to field there, as if the king has conquered a battle. Afridi is different. He can score 20 ducks in a row but his one match winning performance covers it up, even if it was just a six. Maybe he was meant to earn respect in his own way, in his own thug life.
Afridi now looks forward to the finals day next week, hopefully he carries on his form of scoring runs and bags some wickets.