Shaheen Afridi, the tough young gun from Pakistan

 . Last updated on October 5, 2018, 4:59 PM
Shaheen Afridi, the tough young gun from Pakistan

Shaheen Afridi lately emerged as the top fast bowler of Pakistan.

Shaheen Shah Afridi is a medium fast bowler in team Pakistan. The 6 feet 6-inch-tall cricketer is also a batsman as well as an excellent fielder. He bowls at a speed of 90 mph while batting aggressively. Apart from a regular player in the national team, he played in Pakistan Super League playing alongside Lahore Qalandar. In Bangladesh Premier League, he played for Dhaka Dynamites. In domestic circuit, he plays for Khan Research Laboratories. Shaheen Afridi won the central contract of Pakistan Cricket Board for 2018-19 season as one among 33 top players of the country.

In Asia Cup 2018, Shaheen Afridi was included among the primary XI in place of Mohammad Amir. It was his ODI debut match against Afghanistan in the Super Four section. The young bowler is revered for some of the best spells especially in T20 Cricket. After a superb PSL season in early 2018, the Pakistani bowler thanked for India captain Rahul Dravid for influencing his form. The bowling sensation said he is grateful to Dravid for speaking to him during the U-19 World Cup. He said that it was a “big boost for a youngster from a senior player.” Afridi thanked Rahul Dravid specially.

Shaheen Afridi is the youngest of seven siblings. Former Test player Riaz Afridi is his eldest brother.

Shaheen Afridi is the youngest of seven siblings. Former Test player Riaz Afridi is his eldest brother.

Shaheen grew up in a small town named Kotal in Khyber of Pakistan. Born in April 2000, he is from the Zakhakhel Afridi tribe, a sub-tribe of Pashtuns. He has six elder brothers, the senior one being 15 years elder to him. The eldest one, Riaz Afridi was a Test player of Pakistan, who played a match back in 2004. Although Shaheen was introduced to the game at a much younger age, he played only with tennis ball until age 15. It was his brother, who became the strongest inspiration for the player. In 2015, Riaz brought Shaheen at the FATA Under-16 trails. In an interview, the bowler said that it was Riaz’s play that attracted him to fast bowling. The younger one said his brother used to call him during tours and he is still his personal trainer and coach.

He was successful to break the entry barriers earning a selection to U-16 team of Pakistan for the next Australia tour. He took four wickets in the tournament, making his position stronger in the team. Shaheen Afridi pulled himself up the ladder in further in domestic cricket as a junior cricketer. He was selected in the Under-19 team of Pakistan to play in the 2016 Under-19 Asia Cup. In the opening game against Singapore, he played as a match winner taking 3 wickets for 27 runs.

Shaheen debuted in Bangladesh Premier League in 2017 playing for Dhaka Dynamites.

Shaheen debuted in Bangladesh Premier League in 2017 playing for Dhaka Dynamites.

After an impressive year, Shaheen had further breakthrough in the following season. He debuted Bangladesh Premier League playing for Dhaka Dynamites in 2017 season of the tournament. After the league, he debuted in Pakistan’s First Class for Khan Research Laboratories playing the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2017-18 season. In the second innings of his debut match, the bowler knocked down 8 wickets for 39 runs, becoming the first bowler with such an impressive figure in any first-class debut match.

In December 2017, Shaheen earned the name as the Rising Star of Pakistan’s U-19 Squad by ICC. It was in his debut U-19 World Cup, where he knocked 12 wickets for the team. He was the highest wicket taker of the U19 team. In 2018, the young bowler debuted in Pakistan Super League playing for Lahore Qalandars. He also won a Man of the Match award in a domestic match against Multan Sultans after the tournament. In the match, he took five wickets giving away only four runs. His List A debut was for Baluchistan on 25 April 2018. He played the 2018 Pakistan Cup for the team.

Shaheen debuted ODI in Asia Cup 2018.

Shaheen debuted ODI in Asia Cup 2018.

Shaheen played many domestic matches and he is a budding player in international circuit. He played only a couple of international matches so far. His T20 International debut was in March 2018. He played against the West Indies team in April. Shaheen debuted ODI in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2018 tournament. His debut match was against Afghanistan on 21 September. Ahead of Asia Cup, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif praised him saying “Boys from Landi Kota are mentally tough. They don’t wilt under pressure easily.”

 

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