Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi born in Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan), popularly known as Shahid Afridi is a Pakistani cricketer.
Between 1996 and 2011, Afridi played 27 Tests, 385 One Day Internationals, and 59 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for the Pakistani national team. He made his ODI debut on 2 October 1996 against Kenya and his Test debut on 22 October 1998 against Australia.
He is known for his aggressive batting style, and holds the record for the fastest ODI century which he made in his first international innings, as well as scoring 32 runs in a single over, the second highest scoring over ever in an ODI. He also holds the distinction of having hit the most number of sixes in the history of ODI cricket. Afridi considers himself a better bowler than batsman, and has taken 48 Test wickets and over 300 in ODIs. Currently Afridi is the leading wicket taker in the Twenty20 format taking 53 wickets from 43 matches. In June 2009 Afridi took over the Twenty20 captaincy from Younus Khan, and was later appointed ODI captain for the 2010 Asia Cup. In his first match as ODI captain against Sri Lanka he scored a century however Pakistan still lost by 16 runs. He then also took over the Test captaincy but resigned after one match in charge citing lack of form and ability to play Test cricket; at the same time he announced his retirement from Tests. He retained the captaincy in limited-overs form of the game and led the team in the 2011 World Cup.
Amongst his highlights while captaining Pakistan include leading the team to their first ODI series win in two-years. In May 2011, having led Pakistan in 34 ODIs Afridi was replaced as captain. Later that month he announced his conditional retirement from international cricket in protest against his treatment by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Afridi is from the Afridi tribe of the Khyber Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and hails from a Pashtun family. He is married and has two daughters, Aqsa and Ansha. In October 1996 at the age of sixteen Afridi was drafted into the ODI team during the four-nation Sameer Cup 1996–97 as a leg spinner as a replacement for the injured Mushtaq Ahmed. He made his debut on 2 October against Kenya, however he didn’t bat and went wicketless. In the next match against Sri Lanka, Afridi batted at number three in the role of a pinch-hitter. In his first international innings, Afridi broke the record for fastest century in ODI cricket, reaching his hundred from 37 balls. The eleven sixes he struck also equalled the record for most in an ODI innings.
Aged 16 years and 217 days, Afridi became the youngest player to score an ODI century. Pakistan posted a total of 371, at the time the second-highest in ODIs, and won by 82 runs; Afridi was named man of the match. Two years after appearing on the international scene, Afridi made his Test debut in the third game of a three-match series against Australia on 22 October 1998. By this point he had already played 66 ODIs, at the time a record before playing Tests. He opened the batting, making scores of 10 and 6, and took five wickets in the first innings. He played his second Test the following January during Pakistan’s tour of India; it was the first Test between the two countries since 1990. Again opening the batting, Afridi scored his maiden Test century, scoring 141 runs from 191 balls. In the same match he also claimed three wickets for 54 runs. After winning the first match by 12 runs, Pakistan lost the second to draw the series. In 2001, Afridi signed a contract to represent Leicestershire.
In five first-class matches he scored 295 runs at an average of 42.14, including a highest score of 164, and took 11 wickets at an average of 46.45; Afridi also played 11 one day matches for the club, scoring 481 runs at an average of 40.08 and taking 18 wickets at 24.04. His highest score of 95 came from 58 balls in a semi-final of the C&G Trophy to help Leicestershire beat Lancashire by seven wickets. Derbyshire County Cricket Club signed Afridi to play for them in the first two months of the 2003 English cricket season. In June 2004 Afridi signed with English county side Kent to play for them in three Twenty20 matches and one Totesport League match. Afridi made his presence felt in the third Test against India in March 2005, scoring a quick-fire second-innings half-century and taking five wickets in the match (including Tendulkar twice) to help Pakistan to win the game and register a series draw. In April Afridi struck what at the time was the equal second-fastest century in ODIs; he reached 100 off 45 deliveries against India, sharing the record with West Indian Brian Lara.
Afridi was more consistent with his batting and bowling throughout 2005, starting with the tours of India and West Indies and through to the England tour. The Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer helped Afridi to reach a fuller potential by improving his shot selection and giving him free rein over his batting attitude. On 21 November 2005, Shahid Afridi was banned for a Test match and two ODIs for deliberately damaging the pitch in the second match of the three-Test series against England.
TV cameras pictured him scraping his boots on the pitch scuffing the surface when play was held up after a gas canister exploded. Afridi later pleaded guilty to a level three breach of the ICC code of conduct relating to the spirit of the game. Inquiries were made and Afridi’s antics came into view. He was investigated and banned after the day’s play, along with receiving a huge amount of criticism from the cricketing world for bringing the game into disrepute. Match referee Roshan Mahanama said:
“This ban should serve as a message to players that this type of behaviour is not allowed.” On this Afridi accepted his fault and said that a “senior player like me should set good examples to others because they see us to learn.” His behaviour was also condemned by the Pakistan Cricket Board. On 12 April 2006, Afridi announced a temporary retirement from Test cricket so that he could concentrate on ODIs, with a particular focus on the 2007 World Cup, and to spend more time with his family. He said he would consider reversing his decision after the World Cup. Afridi had played ten Tests since being recalled to the side in January 2005, averaging 47.44 with the bat including four centuries. However, on 27 April he reversed his decision, saying that “[Woolmer] told me that I am one of the main players in the team and squad and that Pakistan really needed me”. Before Pakistan toured England in July to September, Afridi played for Ireland as an overseas player in the C&G Trophy. In six matches, he scored 128 runs and took seven wickets.
England won the four-match Test series 3–0; Afridi played two matches, scoring 49 runs and took three wickets. It was the last Test cricket Afridi played until 2010. Afridi was charged on 8 February 2007 of bringing the game into disrepute after he was seen on camera thrusting his bat at a spectator who swore at him on his way up the steps after being dismissed. Afridi was given a four-game ODI suspension, the minimum possible ban for such an offence, meaning that he would miss Pakistan’s first two 2007 World Cup matches.
The PCB and Afridi chose not to appeal the ban, despite feeling that the punishment was excessively harsh. In the 2007 World Twenty20, he performed poorly with the bat but brilliantly with the ball, earning the Man of the Series award, though he failed to take a wicket in the final and was out for a golden duck.
But in the next ICC Twenty20 World Cup, held in 2009 Afridi performed brilliantly in the series scoring 50 runs in the semi-final and 54 in the final and leading his team to victory. On 30 May Afridi announced his conditional retirement from international cricket in protest against his treatment by the PCB. The condition on his return was that the board be replaced. The PCB suspended Afridi’s central contract, fined him 4.5 million rupees ($52,300), and revoked his no-objection certificate (NOC) which allowed Afridi to play for Hampshire. Afridi filed a petition with the Sindh High Court to overturn the sanctions. On June 15, Afridi withdrew his petition after an out of court settlement and the PCB reinstated his NOC.