News details

A new Afridi in town!

Afridi is probably the most popular name in Pakistan cricket. Shahid Khan Afridi has ruled Pakistani hearts for over two decades, even after his retirement from the international cricket. But now, there’s a new Afridi in town, Shaheen Shah Afridi.

22-Nov-2018

Afridi is probably the most popular name in Pakistan cricket. Shahid Khan Afridi has ruled Pakistani hearts for over two decades, even after his retirement from the international cricket. But now, there’s a new Afridi in town, Shaheen Shah Afridi. 

The eighteen-year-old fast bowler from Landi Kotal is 6’6 tall and can bowl around 90 mph, which is very quick for a teenager. Shaheen burst onto the scene last year after his record-breaking first-class debut for Khan Research Laboratories (KRL). One year later, he made his way into the Pakistan Test squad. Now, that is a story of success we all can applaud.

Let’s have a closer look at his short but exciting journey so far.

2015 was an interesting year. Shahid Afridi hung up his boots from ODI cricket and Shaheen Afridi was introduced to hard-ball cricket by his elder brother and Test cricketer, Riaz Afridi. Later that year, Shaheen was selected for Pakistan Under-16 team for the tour of Australia.

The following year wasn’t much different from the previous one; Shahid Afridi played his last T20i in a green jersey and Shaheen Afridi was given one for the Pakistan Under-19 team as he made his way into the squad for the junior Asia Cup.

Shaheen never looked back after this and performed at every opportunity he was provided with. In 2017, he made headlines after his first-class debut, where he took 8 wickets for 39 runs in the last innings of the match, which are still the best figures by a Pakistani bowler on first-class debut. Later that year, he was named in the Pakistan Under-19 squad for the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018.

2018 is the glory year that changed Shaheen’s life forever.

He was the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan in the ICC Under-19 World Cup. This performance impressed Lahore Qalandars and they added him to their squad for PSL 3. In a match against Multan Sultans, Shaheen picked up 5 wickets for just 4 runs. The young pacer with this incredible bowling performance left everyone stunned and it was only a matter of time before he was included in the Pakistan T20 squad for their home series against the Windies, where he made his debut for the national team.

But this was not the end. Months later, he made his ODI debut in a match against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup. After the Asia Cup, Pakistan hosted Australia and New Zealand in the UAE where Shaheen cemented his place in the team and replaced the out of form spearhead of Pakistani pace bowling, Mohammad Amir, who was once considered the next swing prodigy of Pakistani bowling.

Shaheen’s dream run continued when he was selected for the ongoing Test series against New Zealand ahead of Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir. Although he wasn’t selected in the final eleven in the first match, it’s highly likely that he might make his Test debut in the upcoming matches of the series before the difficult and important overseas tour of South Africa.

All in all, the young kid looks a fine talent for the future and if guided properly, he can do wonders for himself and the country. Let’s hope he manages to win matches on his own like his namesake and rule over a generation’s heart as Boom Boom did!

#LahoreQalandars