Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan captain has shared the dressing room with speedster Shoaib Akhtar for a large part of his career.
Shoaib Akhtar, widely considered as one of the most lethal fast bowlers in cricket history, represented Pakistan in 46 in a 14-year long international career. Known for his incredible pace, Shoaib Akhtar also holds the international record for the fastest delivery against New Zealand in 2002.
Shahid Afridi Reckons One Can’t Describe Shoaib Akhtar In One Word As He’s A Whole Book
So, when a fan asked Shahid Afridi to describe Shoaib Akhtar in one word, the former Pakistan skipper was a little perplexed, saying that Shoaib Akhtar is a “whole book.”
“You can’t describe him in one word, he is a whole book!” Afridi said.
“I’ve played across eras, I’ve seen many fast bowlers, but Shoaib Akhtar’s strength, his bravery has wrecked the batsmen over. The batsmen used to be under so much pressure while facing him.”
However, Shahid Afridi then called the former Pakistan pacer a “match-winner.”
“He was a match-winner and he has achieved great things for Pakistan,” the former Pakistan captain said.
Both, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar began their international careers within a year of each other (Shahid Afridi made his debut in 1996) and remained an integral part of the side for many years. The batter announced his retirement from international cricket in 2018 but continues to appear in league cricket, having last played in the 2022 edition of the Pakistan Super League.
Shahid Afridi Was Forced To Leave PSL 2022 Early Due To Injury; Shoaib Akhtar Advised Him To Take Rest
However, Shahid Afridi was forced to leave the PSL season early this year due to an injury. Interestingly, Akhtar had funnily commented on the former Pakistan captain’s age when Shahid Afridi confirmed his departure from the PSL. Shahid Afridi had earlier said that this edition of the league would be his last appearance in the tournament.
Shahid Afridi decided to retire from international cricket in 2018, but did play the T20 leagues after that and was part of the recently concluded PSL 2022 season which turned out to be his last as he had announced earlier. At 42 years of age, the all-rounder had to pull out the midway of the tournament citing injury concerns and Shoaib Akhtar reacted by stating him to take a rest.
Quetta Gladiators is Shahid Afridi’s fourth PSL franchise. He has also played for Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi. Shahid Afridi took 47 wickets at an average of 26.51 in his PSL career, besides scoring 459 runs at a strike rate of 150.8.
Shoaib Akhtar, popularly known as Rawalpindi Express, has clocked the fastest delivery in the world at 161.3 kmph and the record is yet to be broken as well. The right-arm quick played 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 T20Is for Pakistan from the period of 1997 to 2011 and claimed 444 wickets from 224 matches across all formats during his 14 years of an international career.
Shoaib Akhtar was undoubtedly one of the fastest bowlers in international cricket and his 178 Test wickets and 247 ODI scalps are a testament to what he achieved when he was in his prime form. Shoaib Akhtar played three matches recently for Asia Lions under Misbah-ul-Haq’s captaincy in the Legends League Cricket and picked two wickets as they ended runners-up to World Giants, who won by 25 runs in the final.