This retired star cricketer is set to return to International cricket
Over 10,000 international runs and over 500 international wickets is a kind of achievement that very few cricketers can boast of. Add to that, over 450 career 6s in a career spanning 2 decades, Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi is definitely once in a lifetime cricketer. A global superstar, one of the world’s most controversial yet loved cricketers and Pakistan’s darling, Afridi played his last international match in a T20I against Australia at Mohali in 2016. However, Afridi is set to return to International cricket for the ICC World XI in a T20I match against the Windies to be played at Lord’s on May 31, the International Cricket Council announced in a statement on Thursday. On a funny note, Afridi is anyway known to have come out of retirement on multiple occasions.
Born on 1 March 1980 in Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan, Afridi is from the Afridi tribe of Pashtuns. Afridi made his debut on 2 October 1996 against Kenya but didn’t bat in that match and also could not pick any wicket. In the next match against Sri Lanka, Afridi batted at number three in the role of a pinch-hitter and in just his first international innings, Afridi broke the then record for fastest century in ODI cricket, reaching his hundred from 37 balls. Afridi had arrived and in no time, Lala created headlines across the world and became a darling of the masses. Over the years, he has done many match winning contributions, with both the bat and the ball for Pakistan. However, it was his off the field antics that always took limelight and he has been a controversial cricketer, be it for his reckless batting, or his relationship with his fellow teammates or his controversial comments. He has never been one of those planned cricketers which has brought him his share of criticism as well. However, that’s how Afridi has been and that’s what his fans love about him.
ICC confirmed Afridi and Shoaib Malik’s names for the ICC World XI in a T20I match against the Windies to be played at Lord’s on May 31. There will be more names announced to the ICC World XI’s star-studded line-up which will be led by England’s Eoin Morgan. “Cricket is one big family and no matter how hard and tough we play against each other, there is tremendous comradery within the group. As such, it is our moral and professional obligation to stand up and support whenever and wherever we can”, Shahid Afridi said on this occasion.
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