Who says that Pakistan Cricket is dead and burried? It can never be till the oomph of an Afridi is present in it. Pakistan's humdinger in Colombo truly belonged to Shahid Afridi, who has been a real epic. Colombo of yesterday was like Columbia Pictures dying to have best hero for their movie; as it turned out, it was Shahid Afridi who rocked the formidable batting line-up with his pictorial bowling. After Pakistanis the photographers of Colombo enjoyed his bowling the most, his every gesture on-field was meant to be top-notch photo in every news.
This man's stats are mostly discussed due to his power-hitting but this time numbers are with his bowling too.
Shahid Afridi joins the unique club.
6000 runs and 300 wickets; its the club about which a cricketer can only dream-off, this is real triumph of an all-rounder's career. Shahid Afridi became the first Pakistani and only second player in world - after Sanath Jaysuria- to have 300 wickets and 6000 runs in ODI career.
Unorthodox Afridi joins Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.
After his fastest century in 1996, who could have a slender thought of Afridi being the bowler to join Wasim(502) and Waqar(416) in leading wicket takers of Pakistan? Shahid Afridi(301 wickets) today is 3rd leading wicket-taker from Pakistan in ODIs. He is also now 11th leading wicket-taker from all over world in ODIs, and just 15 more wickets will make take him in top-ten leading wicket takers.
4th leading spinner in terms of wickets.
Shahid Afridi, with 301 wickets, now stands as 4th leading wicket taker in ODIs as a spinner. Muralitharan(522), Anil Kumble(337) and Sanath Jayasuria(322) are ahead of him.
Shahid Afridi with his all-round performance has even surpassed Wasim, Waqar, Miandad, Yousuf here. With 23 Man of the match awards; Afridi has 3rd most man of the match awards from Pakistan. Only Inzamam-ul-Haq(24) and Saeed Anwar(28) are ahead of him.
Power-hitter as a batsman.
3 out of 6 fastest centuries in ODIs belong to Shahid Afridi. 6 out of 12 fastest fifties belong to him, and only player to score fifty of 18 balls twice in his career. 288 Sixes in ODI career makes him leading six-hitter in ODIs whereas 366 sixes makes him leading six-hitter in all formats(including Tests, ODIs & T20s). 6606 career runs more than run-a-ball are being scored by Shahid Afridi, and he has best strike rate(113) in World among players who have at least 1000 runs.
Hypothetical stats make Shahid Afridi a Garry Sobers of ODIs.
Though there are some reports of his retirement after WC'11 but with his current age(31), he can at least play for another spell of 4 years. If he manages to play 4 years with same form then Afridi can amazingly become Garry Sobers of ODI Cricket or even better than him. Currently he has 6606 runs and 301 wickets, If we give him 2000 runs and 100 wickets in next 4 years then he is as followed:
- Can be the only player to have 400 wickets and 8000+ odd runs in ODIs
- Can be the only second spinner, after Muralitharan, to have 400 ODI wickets. Moreover, Just 37 more wickets will make him second leading wicket taker among spinners.
- Most man of the match awards by a Pakistani; he just needs 6 more awards.
- 400 international sixes? Yes, he can be the first and probably last one to do so in history of Cricket.
- 8000+ runs with more than run-a-ball?
Shahid Afridi or Kapil Dev?
Kapil Dev might have been the best bowler produced by India, undoubtedly there is no comparison between these two, but Shahid Afridi has snatched a rare feat of Kapil Dev. Shahid Afridi has the best bowling figures by a captain in World Cup. Afridi's 5 for 16, against Kenya at Hambantota, were the best bowling figuers by a captain in 10 World Cups.
Leading wicket-taker in World Cup?
We have heard names of Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Chaminda Vass, Geoff Allot, Glen McGrath as leading wicket takers in World Cup. Who knows after WC'11 we might have Afridi's name too, in just 3 matches of on-going World Cup, he has 14 wickets so far. [Only this heading also includes stats related to Pakistan's recent WC match against Canada]
Written by: Mazher Arshad