Described by one commentator as the "maddest of all mad maxes", Shahid Afridi is certainly a sultan of swing, but rather with bat, than with ball.
Everything he has achieved in the current Twenty20 World Cup has been acquired with the utmost intensity. Whether he is slogging over mid-wicket, floating a googly, or verbally jousting with opponents, Afridi will never leave a cricket field wandering what might have been.
A quick glance to the dugout while his team mates open the batting, and you will see him padded, helmet on, almost fretting...waiting for his chance to get in on the action. And if anything, the Pathaan prince, as he is affectionately known, when his number is called, will at the very least, keep a crowd entertained.
Though, for a batsman of his talent, his averages read poorly, and a slight retraction in his strike rate could well multiply the number of runs Afridi scores. But Afridi is no stats guru, nor a protector of his wicket. He is more a bandit, looking to plunder opposition, stealing their wickets, murdering their short balls.
The adventures of Shahid do not always end happily, and do not always leave the reader satisified. But Mr Afridi does keep fans turning pages and mystified as to what will happen next.
Few can doubt his ability, many will question his statistics, though none can argue with his place among Flintoff, Cairns, Yuvraj, and co. as a constructive all-rounder—and on his day, the most destructive of them all.
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