Shahid Afridi embodies the reasons why cricket needs Pakistan.
Here’s a man who’s most famous for his ludicrously single-minded determination to hit every balll he faces into the moon, as if it’s somehow wronged him with its offensive nocturnal luminescence. That’s Shahid Afridi’s thing. That’s what he does.
Yet he’s also someone who can take 6-38 to beat Australia with his fast-medium leg-breaks, despite barely playing an international match of note for more than a year.
Where England lose matches by each player being a bit worse than his opposite number, Pakistan lose matches through breathtaking collective incompetence.
Where England win matches through each player being a bit better than his opposite number; Pakistan win matches through any one of their number defying probability and good sense to do something outrageous.