Roger Federer is not only one of the greatest tennis players of all time, he is also one of the most beloved athletes of the 21st century. Sports enthusiasts and players from across disciplines look up to him for his spectacular achievements and the grace with which he carries himself and plays the game.
The Swiss great eased past France’s Adrian Mannarino to reach his 16th Wimbledon quarter-final on Monday. During the match, Wimbledon’s Twitter account posted a video of Federer playing what resembled a cricket shot.
The All England Club tournament asked the International Cricket Council what it thought of Federer’s ‘forward defence’.
The ICC’s social media responded by bumping Federer right to the top of Test ranking for batsmen.
They weren’t done as the governing body wondered, in a following tweet, how Federer will fare against England seamer Stuart Broad.
Federer and cricket have crossed paths in the past. Sachin Tendulkar has called the 36-year-old his favourite player and the two met at SW19 in 2011. Sachin and Virat Kohli attended Wimbledon matches together in 2015.
Which is why the India batting great had his say in Federer’s ‘rise’ to the No1 ranking. Tendulkar took to twitter and asked Federer if they can exchange notes ‘after you win your ninth Wimbledon title’.
The two sides meet Down Under from November where they will play three T20s, four Tests and three ODIs.
The last time Kohli played in Australia in 2014/15, he struck four Test centuries, scoring 692 runs at 86.50.
McGrath believes it will be intriguing how he will fare against the likes of Australia pacers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood.
“I want to see Australians put pressure on Kohli and just see how he handles it,” McGrath was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s going to be a good, hard, tough series. Kohli has got a bit of an aggressive attitude but showed last time he was out here he’s not going to take a backward step. It’s going to be an interesting summer.
“The Windies of the late 70s, early 80s were an incredible team and they used to target the captain of the opposition team and get on top of him and have a big impact. I tried to bring that in by targeting players when I played. If you get on top of them, the No.1 player and their captain, it makes the job so much easier.
“If they can get on top of Kohli I think it can have a big effect on the game.”
He added: “India are not a bad team, they’ve got a decent bowling attack, they’ve got some good spinners as well,” McGrath said. “With Steve Smith and Dave Warner not there it leaves a little bit of a gap. Fingers crossed it can be a good solid series with Australia just getting across the line 4-0.”
Shahid Afridi is returning to the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to play for the Jamaica Tallawahs. He has played at the Hero CPL before, with the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in 2015.
This year he will join the likes of Andre Russell, Ross Taylor and Rovman Powell with the Jamaican Franchise.
Looking back at that first appearance at the Hero CPL, Afridi says he thinks he underperformed in 2015.
“I think my first experience was not that good, because I didn’t perform well. But still, I think it’s an honour for me to be part of CPL. I think that atmosphere is very good and whenever I was there with the Pakistan team, I enjoyed. I think the islands are very beautiful.
“St. Lucia where I played a few times for the Pakistan side, is one of my favourite places. So that’s why I love to play there. The atmosphere is very good, the people, they want to see us there as well.”
Afridi says that Twenty20 cricket is vital to spreading cricket around the world and sees it as the future.
“I think with T20 you can introduce cricket anywhere in the world, it’s a short format and I think the people who don’t have enough time to sit in front of the TV or come to the ground to see a whole day.
“I think this is a great entertainment to people who don’t know about cricket – you can show them, you can bring the people for two or three hours and they can learn a lot from this cricket.”
The Tallawahs will be playing three matches in Florida this year, taking on Guyana Amazon Warriors, Trinbago Knight Riders and Barbados Tridents at the Central Broward Regional Stadium in Lauderhill on August 18, 19 and 22. Afridi is looking forward to playing in the USA for the first time.
“Yeah, I heard that we are playing three games in America and I have never played any game in America, but let’s see. I don’t know how is the ground or how the pitch will behave, but I’m very excited to play in America.”
Afridi has done some amazing things with the bat, but he says the Tallawahs have signed a bowler who can do some batting.
“I always consider myself as a bowling all-rounder. I think in batting, I’m not that consistent but in bowling I am very consistent and when I started my cricket, I started as a bowler. So I think I feel good and if you look in to my performance I’m always very consistent with my bowling.”
It came after Afridi had called time on his international career, but the Windies recently visited Pakistan to play T20 Internationals. This was something Afridi was delighted to see and he was full of praise for Cricket West Indies for making it happen.
“I must thank the cricket board, I think they really support us, they really support our cricket. I think they really done a great job especially all the players. Really, it’s a big thing for us because we want to see cricket back in Pakistan and I’m always thankful to them – the way they supported us.”