Pakistan star cricketer Shahid Afridi has mesmerised cricket fans across the world with his daring batting and sublime leg-spin over the years.
Afridi started off as a fearless batsmen who could also bowl spin and after years of thrilling run-making – that included a then world-record century off just 37 balls and a little under 500 international sixes – settled into a world-class leg-spinner whose figures of 7-12 are still the second best in ODI history.
However, it was his batting that made him the icon that he is and also got him the nickname ‘Boom Boom’, which is now synonymous with the Pakistan great.
But who came up with that famous name?
During an interactive session with fans on Twitter, Afridi revealed that it was former India batsman and current coach Ravi Shastri that gave him the name.
During the question and answer session, Afridi also stated that the 141 he scored against India in the 1999 Chennai Test, which his team famously won by 12 runs, remains his favourite century.
Pakistan opening batsman Fakhar Zaman said his team are favourites to win next year’s World Cup in England.
Zaman was one of the star performers for Pakistan during last year’s Champions Trophy win in England. The left-hander hit a sizzling century in the final against India as the men in green crushed their traditional rivals by 180 runs at The Oval.
The 28-year-old Zaman has so far played 18 ODIs, scoring 1065 runs at a staggering average of 76. He also became the first Pakistan batsman to hit an ODI double hundred – 210 against Zimbabwe in July.
Zaman said Pakistan’s recent record and their win in the Champions Trophy make them favourites for the World Cup.
“The current Pakistan team combination is brilliant and the results we have recently produced are good proof of that,” he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“We will travel to England to win the title and not just to make up the numbers. I do feel that it is right for us to be labelled favourites for the 2019 World Cup as our team will be well equipped for this tournament.”
ASIA CUP NEXT
Pakistan’s immediate goal is the Asia Cup in September, which also includes India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and a qualifier.
“At the moment, I am fully focused on doing well in the upcoming Asia Cup,” he said. “Of course, the 2019 World Cup is an important tournament, but it’s far too early for me to start planning for it as there are other international assignments to take care of before that tournament.”
Zaman has been brilliant in white ball cricket but is yet to represent his country in Tests. Pakistan’s next red-ball clash will be against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE and the opener is hoping to get an opportunity.
“Regardless of which team I play against, the fact is that Test cricket is one format that provides the ultimate test of skills for a player and to perform well in this form of the game is my dream. When that opportunity does arrive, I will do my best,” Zaman said.
“While I could not debut in Tests during the recent tour of Ireland and England, I learnt a lot from that tour and also worked very hard on my batting technique, which I feel will help me in Tests.
“I do not know what the future holds for me in Test cricket but I can confidently say that I am continuing to prepare well and will be ready if I am given a chance.”
Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan bowled the most economical spell in the history of Twenty20 cricket on Saturday as he conceded a run only off the final ball of his spell and finished with two wickets.
Irfan, playing for Barbados Tridents against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League, snared the wickets of West Indian stars Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis.
However, his sensational effort wasn’t enough as the Patriots reached the victory target of 148 with seven balls to spare and six wickets in hand.
“I’m really happy. I would’ve been happier if the team won, but I am happy that I bowled one of the best spells in T20 cricket,” Irfan said after the match.
“I liked bowling on the lively wicket, and I get extra bounce because of my height. So yes, a satisfying performance.”
The 36-year-old Irfan dismissed Gayle with the first delivery of the innings and picked up the scalp of Lewis in his second.
Brandon King took a single from his very last delivery to deny Irfan a fourth maiden. Irfan ended with figures of 4-3-2-1. He hasn’t played for Pakistan for more than two years.