Shahid Afridi retired from international cricket in 2018 after a 21-year long career. However, there were some moments in the former Pakistan all-rounder’s career where he wanted to quit cricket.
Shahid Afridi, one of the most celebrated names in world cricket. was a crucial part of the team during his playing career. He was known for his hard-hitting batting and his effective leg-spin as he gained his reputation as one of the best all-rounders of his generation. He even earned the nickname ‘Boom-Boom’ due to his ability to play quick-fire innings for his team.
Shahid Afridi Decided Not To Play Cricket Anymore After Pakistan Won 2009 World T20 Due To Politics
In a recent interview, Shahid Afridi recalled the instance where he wanted to give up the sport after winning the 2009 World T20.
“I decided not to play cricket anymore,” he told Samaa TV.
“Shoaib Malik had become the captain and there was a lot of politics going on within the team.”
The former batsman further recalled a bit of advice he received from an old wise man.
“He said you’re so worried about your own performance and worldly matters. Just compare your hardships to those of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and you will realize that yours are nothing,” Afridi recalled.
Shahid Afridi continues to back allrounder Shoaib Malik’s claim for a spot in Pakistan’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup set to be played later this year in India. However, there was a time when once Shoaib Malik was appointed team captain in 2009, Shahid Afridi almost ended his international career after being fed up by the politics going around.
Shahid Afridi Denied Aggravating Situation At 2007 World T20
Shahid Afridi also touched upon the incident at the 2007 World T20 where Shoaib Akhtar had struck Mohammed Asif with a bat. Shoaib Akhtar had previously talked about the incident in his autobiography, Controversially Yours, where he accused Shahid Afridi of aggravating the situation, but Shahid Afridi denied it.
“Things happen,” Afridi told Samaa.tv.
“Asif had sided with me in a joke which enraged Shoaib and all this happened. But Shoaib has a very beautiful heart.”
Shahid Afridi remembered his early days in cricket where his father wanted him to focus on studies rather than cricket.
“When I played under 14 and 18, there was only cricket in my all life,” he said.
“I used to sleep in my kit if I had a match the next day because I didn’t want to be late. There was no social media at that time, so people showed my pictures in Dawn and Jang to my father and said his son was indeed up to something good.”
A controversy had erupted during the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup when Shoaib Akhtar had hit Mohammed Asif with a bat due to which the former pacer was called back from South Africa. Saying that he had no hand in the infamous episode, Shahid Afridi said he had only gone to save the situation when he saw Shoaib Akhtar angry.
Shahid Afridi played 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is between 1996 and 2018. He scored 11196 runs across formats and took 541 wickets as well. He burst onto the international stage with a 37-ball century in October 1996 which was then the fastest hundred in ODI history, a record that remained intact for over 17 years before New Zealand allrounder Corey Anderson broke in 2013, taking one less delivery. AB de Villiers then broke the record in 2015, hitting a century in mere 31 deliveries.
Shahid Afridi considers himself a better bowler than batsman and has taken 395 wickets in ODI and 48 Test wickets. He is 3rd on the chart of most T20I wickets, with 98 wickets from 99 matches after Lasith Malinga and Tim Southee.