Rolling the Shahid Afridi dice

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< 1 minute read

'We need 12 off the next two deliveries, right?'If there is a point to Shahid Afridi – and really, his genius is all about absolute commitment to joyous, unfocused, futile pointlessness – then it is that he should mishit sixes to win matches. That is what happened today.

India and Pakistan have much in common, but they also have their differences – you may even have heard about this. In cricket, the most striking difference is in their respective ‘finishers’.

For India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni typically fills this role. Dhoni is one of the finest one-day batsmen of all time and utterly, utterly reliable. In 214 innings, he appears to have learnt everything there is to know about closing out a 50-over innings and he’s so cool that anyone else on the field of play is at risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

Pakistan field Shahid Afridi at seven. Afridi is basically one last roll of the dice. These dice have just one side that doesn’t say ‘wicket’ and it says ‘six’. In approach, he is as cool as the fires of Hell and in 348 one-day innings, he has learnt precisely nothing. If anything, he has shed knowledge. Certainly, his first innings remains his best.


“The captain told me to take my time and I did that.”

He hit 34 off 18 balls.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. I’m reminded of a quote, something to the effect that in war you can never plan for Afridis, because they are completely mental.

  2. If Afridi had chosen to play in the recently concluded U-19 world cup, Pakistan may have won it.
    A pity.

  3. He could have been a top class leggie with a bit of focus and discipline. Instead he became a test match opener. If you don’t love the Pakistan cricket team, you are wrong.

  4. “Today?

    “The captain told me to take my time and I did that.”

    He hit 34 off 18 balls.”

    In fairness, didn’t they win with a couple of balls to spare? Good job he didnt listen for a change, otherwise they would have been well short!

  5. As a Test Match opener he was ahead of his time. Now that Warner has shown the way, everybody will be looking to score run-a-ball centuries on the first day of a Test.

  6. KC, just read the comments on the link to your first post about Afridi. It looks like once upon a time you had REAL cricket fans following your website before Cricinfo stole them.


    Sorry, it’s Monday.

    1. We do five articles a week. If we do one at the weekend, it earns us a skive.

      But oddly enough, we had started feeling guilty shortly before you wrote that and had actually started trying to force something out (an article).

      And lo, news happened.

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