Shahid Afridi: Boomed Out!

Updated: Oct 06, 2012, 18:50 PM IST

Zeenews Sports Bureau

This is a classic story of how one can be excessively talented, and just be clueless as to how to utilize it. I am sure world has never seen and will never see someone like him in the future.This basher is Pakistan's version of Jayasuriya. He is unique and possibly the biggest showstopper on the cricketing grounds across the world. Shahid Afridi is one cricketer who promised a lot, but rarely did we see that promise melting into performance. This Pakistani mercurial swashbuckler started off as a batting all-rounder and by ten years we saw him slanting into a bowling all-rounder who can bat a bit. But forever we have associated him with madcap batting, the prospect of which makes him a crowd-puller world over.

Shahid Afridi is a compulsive basher, literally unable to control his urges to slog every ball that comes his way. It was a pain to see the fashion in which this `Pathan` was dismissed against the host nation in the semi-final on Thursday. The thought that he should retire soaked into the grey cells of his ardent admirers of his brand of cricket who simply couldn`t see him fail again and again.

This 32-year-old took the cricketing world by storm in 1996, when he scored the fastest century ever in ODIs in just 37 balls. He immediately became the toast of his nation soon at 16, and a threat to his opponents. Sixteen years on, the tale of Shahid Afridi has been an unfortunate one. He surely has underperformed. Despite a healthy Test career, he gave up on the format in 2006, pre-empting men such as Andrew Flintoff, to maximize fully his limited-overs career. He came back, in inimitable fashion, for one Test only as a captain in 2010 only to give it up midway through the series.

Immaturity has always threatened to gatecrash his career. And lately for the last one year has been sporting niggles which has not benefited him anybit. As a captain he wasn`t successful. Surprisingly, he turns his arms better than he wields a willow. He has always been in the bad books of his coaches and a few of his teammates.

But somehow, he is still accepted in the cricketing fraternity as the ultimate charmer and a dasher. His fan-following is ever-increasing. Variety is his calling. As a traditional leg-break bowler, he has two googlies, a conventional off-spin and a lethal faster one. He often stuns the batsman with a delivery of more than 100kmph. His extensive repertoire makes him a more potent element with the ball and the potency factor with the ball has risen over the years. He runs through his overs at the drop of a hat in limited overs cricket which is immensely beneficial for his team. Hopefully, the same can be said about his batting prowess currently because he is woefully out of form with the cricket bat in his hand. Fitting debut to a kamikaze career, to put things in simple words.Shahid Afridi, could easily be the brand ambassador of ‘Unpredictability’.

He never lived up to his promise, hence a word of advice, don`t try to replicate legendary Imran Khan and try your luck in politics.