We wrote about Shahid Afridi for Cricinfo

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We're going for the small picture on the right approach todayMost of the sentiments have been expressed here before, only because this was for Cricinfo we made the article longer, more rambling and less to the point. We pretty much repeat ourself in every paragraph as well to really drive the non-point home.

That non-point is basically that Shahid Afridi is diminished by Twenty20 cricket. One of the comments then says that Twenty20 was invented for characters like him. We suppose that’s not necessarily missing the point. This person might conceivably mean that those who invented Twenty20 were missing the point, which is almost certainly true.

Another comment draws attention to the fact that Afridi’s batting has gone to shit since he retired from Tests, which is actually worth mentioning. They also say something intelligent about the benefits of his reputation when it comes to batting in the longest format.

How many Cricinfo comments do you have to read before you happen upon sense? Many, but it can happen. Well played, Stark62.


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  1. Pakistan were 83 for 4 in a 2010 test against Australia when Kamran Akmal was out. Cricinfo’s next commentary line was:

    “Now then, here’s Shahid Afridi. This should be fun. Whatever happens.”

    The remaining five balls of the over went:

    . 4 . 4 6

    and 8 faced balls after that, Afridi was back in the pavilion having scored 31. Cricinfo’s next comment was:

    “Pakistan are in a heap of trouble now with the tail exposed.”

    You are dead right, KC. Anyone can hurtle around stupidly in a padded room. To do it properly you need to be hurtling around stupidly on Beachy Head.

    1. True drama always includes an element of jeopardy. Context is everything.

    2. What I “liked” most about that particular incident is that as he walked out to bat Afridi’s approach was the wrong one to choose, but with hindsight, it was definitely the wrong one to choose. This wasn’t some fantasy where the maverick pulls off an unlikely victory – Australia won the test by 150 runs. He was hurtling around stupidly on Beachy Head, then he fell off.

      The context that made (makes?) him so engaging to the rest of us made no difference whatsoever to Shahid Afridi. But I guess that’s always true with daredevils. It’s not that they face the danger bravely, it’s that they haven’t noticed that there is any danger to face. Even when they are 100ft above a crocodile-infested pool of deadly poison with snakes in it, or 83 for 4 as it’s also known.

  2. Your commentors also have an alarming derth of vowels and more full stops than a Chris Tavare innings.

  3. Experts often talk about what-if scenarios: what if Afridi’s aggression was combined with Misbah’s calm. What is Boycott’s determination was combined with Gower’s flair and so on..
    By such fantasy combinations, one would not only miss the point, but one would also miss the original cricketers.

    1. Let’s see how he fares on the standardised acceptability test for Australian bowlers.

      He bowls to the left
      He bowls to the right
      That Nathan Mitchell Coulter-Nile
      His bowling is [to be confirmed]

      Not bad. I thought it had no chance of scanning, but I reckon the Barmy Army could work with it.

  4. He bowls to the left
    He bowls to the right
    That Nathan Mitchell Coulter-Nile
    His bowling is off by a mile

  5. In other news, Chesney Hughes – who scored 270 for Derbyshire in the first innings – has finished on the winning side.

    One for Cricinfo’s Ask Steven – what’s the highest individual first-class score in a losing cause?

    1. I hope the policy of referring back to the previous article on international players in country cricket won’t prevent KC commenting on this splendid Yorkshire win.

      I wouln’t mind betting that it is up there in highest individual scores in innings defeats.

      I know I’m preaching to the choir, but this is a case in point of how only first class cricket can produce proper narratives like this. Chesneys 275 out of 475, Root’s double ton,Bluey Jnr and Yorkshire’s mad scoring rate once the got a lead, early wickets, a recovery then a collapse. Victory secured and the whole tale told in the piece of exquisite efficiency,the cricket scorecard. The joy of it.

    2. Well said, old bean.

      You can keep your IPL, your fireworks, your Yes Bank Maximums and your dancing girls. It’s been a great start to the English season.

      Actually, we’ll have the dancing girls.

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