Tribune’s Gamechangers 2011: Shahid Afridi

Giving hope to Pakistani cricket fans.


Express January 13, 2012

Boom Boom, Lala – meet Shahid Afridi, one of the most entertaining sportsmen Pakistan has ever seen.

Ever since his performance at the T20 World Cup 2009 which Pakistan lifted, Afridi has been unstoppable (except on a couple of occasions). He led Pakistan to the World Cup 2011 semi-final, and even though Pakistan lost, he stepped up and apologised sincerely, garnering even more support from his fans and detractors alike.

Not all has been great for Afridi in 2011, he was at the centre of the ‘big heart, small heart’ controversy right after the World Cup ended and later ‘conditionally’ retired from international cricket. The former captain retired in May in protest against the board and said that he will only return once it has been replaced.

He finally took back his retirement in October when Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt was replaced by Zaka Ashraf.

A strong comeback against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh shows that Afridi has much destructive cricket left in him.

Quote: “You can’t hide the fact that no matter how much we try, they [the Indian team] can’t be on the same level as us and don’t have a heart as big as us.”

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