It was 4th of Oct 1996 , A not very high profile tri series was underway in Kenya Along with host Pakistan and Sri Lanka was competing for trophy. Today Pakistan was playing his match against Sri Lanka at Nairobi. Won the toss and chose to field as they were best run chaser. Considering oppositions run chase abilities Pakistan aimed to a big target. So they sent him as a pinch hitter ,
Although he was included in the squad as a leg spin bowler to replace injured Mushtaq Ahmed. He was promoted to number three given the task to just hit every ball to improve run rate. He came to bat his every ball and fortunately kept on hitting and just over 6 overs completed his hundred.
It was a match which had not telecasted live on tv as people hear this news on television and read in newspapers he suddenly become a star for his fastest century world record. People wanted to see him playing he became a sensational find. In every match he played after that he was expected to hit only sixes even not fours. Despite his inconsistence play he became consistence team member on public demand.
He was not declared to be a good test player by experts due to his batting style but not only included in test team but later became captain as well, In all this course of time he did,t change his batting style, He has always been a reluctant test player and quit test captaincy in between test series against England.
When T20 games got popularity it had been considered his format ,he became it’s regular part but yet not produced any extra ordinary consistence performance in shortest format too.
This is Sahibza Shahid Khan Afridi,,In test matches played 27 runs scored 1716,wickets 48
One day internationals, played 398 ,Runs scored 8064,wickets 395
T20 internationals, played 98,Runs scored 1405,wickets 97.
He has played more ODIs and T20I then any other players in the world and his many of records are also because of his more number of matches. Most number of sixes, most man of the matches but he is also a cricketer who has most number of defeats as a player. Initially in his career he got popularity as a batsmen but his average score remain 23.5 in ODIs and 18 in T20s,later with consistent failures in batting he tried to establish as a bowler but he took less than one wicket per match in limited overs format. He was desperate to become captain but proved to be worst amongst all Pakistani skippers.
Shahid Afridi remained part and parcel of Pakistan cricket for two decades very few players are there in world who played for such a long time Javed Miandad and Sachin Tendulkar are also among them but these players have phenomenal records Shahid Afridi is might be only player who played for a ong time with such an average record. What’s the reason, when he was first batted in International match he was asked to hit just sixes,he never look back and never tried to change this game people loved his big hitting, he kept on playing for public and despite bad and inconstant performance never got out of team.
He remained always an entertainer more than a cricketer. Now this chapter is going to close although he is still doubtful about his retirement but ifnot today then tomorrow he has to quit .Many youngsters watching him wanted to be like him but no cricket guru will suggest them to play like him.