Shaheen Shah Afridi[a] (pronounced [ʃaːɦiːɳ ʃaːɦ aːfɾiːdiː]; born 6 April 2000) is a Pakistani international cricketer who is the current captain of the Pakistan national cricket team in the T20I format. He captains the Lahore Qalandars in the PSL.[5] Under his leadership, Lahore Qalandars won their first PSL title in the 2022 season and again went on to win the 2023 season, becoming the first team in PSL history to successfully defend their title. Considered as one among the finest fast bowlers, he is the first Pakistani to win the Garfield Sobers trophy.

Shaheen Afridi
Afridi during the 2019 Cricket World Cup
Personal information
Full name
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Born (2000-04-06) 6 April 2000 (age 23)
Landi Kotal, Khyber Agency, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan
(present-day Khyber District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan)
NicknameThe Eagle[1]
Height6 ft 6 in (198 cm)[2][3]
BattingLeft-handed
BowlingLeft-arm fast-medium
RoleBowler
Relations
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 236)3 December 2018 v New Zealand
Last Test26 December 2023 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 218)21 September 2018 v Afghanistan
Last ODI11 November 2023 v England
ODI shirt no.10 (formerly 40)
T20I debut (cap 78)3 April 2018 v West Indies
Last T20I14 January 2024 v New Zealand
T20I shirt no.10 (formerly 40)
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
2017/18Khan Research Laboratories
2018–presentLahore Qalandars (squad no. 10)
2018Balochistan
2019/20Northern (squad no. 10)
2020Hampshire (squad no. 40)
2020/21–2023Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (squad no. 10)
2022Middlesex (squad no. 10)
2023Nottinghamshire
2023Welsh Fire
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 29 53 38 58
Runs scored 182 196[4] 303 199
Batting average 6.50 16.33 25.65 25.23
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0
Top score 21 25 29 25
Balls bowled 5814 2695 7494 2959
Wickets 113 104 153 109
Bowling average 26.71 23.94 8.18 15.3
5 wickets in innings 4 3 5 3
10 wickets in match 1 0 1 0
Best bowling 6/51 6/35 8/39 6/35
Catches/stumpings 2/0 11/0 5/0 12/0
Medal record
Men's Cricket
Representing  Pakistan
T20 World Cup
Runner-up 2022 Australia
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 7 January 2024

Early and personal life edit

Afridi was born on 6 April 2000 in Landi Kotal, Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (present-day Khyber District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) into a family belonging to the Zakhakhel Afridi tribe of the Pashtuns.[6] He grew up in his native Landi Kotal. He is the youngest of seven brothers; his eldest brother, 15 years his senior, is Riaz Afridi who played a solitary Test match for Pakistan in 2004.[7] His cousin Yasir Afridi is a professional footballer who has represented the Pakistan national football team.[8]

In March 2021, Afridi got engaged to Shahid Afridi's daughter Ansha Afridi.[9]

In July 2022, Afridi was made an honorary Deputy Superintendent of the Police (DSP) rank in the KP Police as a goodwill ambassador.[10]

In January 2023, it was announced that Afridi would design Lahore Qalandars' new kits for the 2023 PSL.[11]

On 3 February 2023, he married Ansha Afridi in a private nikah ceremony.[12][13]

Early career edit

Shaheen started his cricket career from the Tatara Ground in Landi Kotal, which is named after the nearby Tatara hills.[14] Riaz Afridi introduced Shaheen to hard-ball cricket at the FATA Under-16 trials in 2015, with Shaheen having played only tennis-ball cricket until then.[15] Success at this level led to Shaheen being selected for the Under-16 tour of Australia in November 2015, where he played his part with four wickets in the 2–1 victories in the One-Day and Twenty20 series.[15]

Domestic and franchise career edit

In December 2016, Afridi was included in the Pakistan Under-19 cricket team selected for the 2016 Under-19 Asia Cup held in Sri Lanka.[6] He took 3 wickets for 27 runs in Pakistan's nine wickets win over Singapore in their opening match of the U-19 Asia Cup.[16]

In early September 2017, Afridi signed a two-year contract with Dhaka Dynamites, a major Bangladesh Premier League franchise.[17][18][19] Later he made his first-class debut for Khan Research Laboratories in the 2017–18 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on 26 September 2017.[20] In the second innings of the match, he took 8 wickets for 39 runs,[21] the best figures by a Pakistani bowler on first-class debut.[7][22]

In December 2017, Afridi was named in Pakistan's squad for the 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.[23] He was the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan in the tournament, with 12 wickets.[24] Following Pakistan's matches in the tournament, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named Afridi as the rising star of the squad.[25]

Afridi made his Twenty20 debut for Lahore Qalandars in the 2018 Pakistan Super League (PSL) on 23 February 2018.[26] The following month in the PSL, during Lahore's match with the Multan Sultans, Afridi took five wickets for four runs. Lahore won the fixture by 6 wickets and Afridi was named the player of the match.[27][28]

In April 2018, Afridi was named in Baluchistan's squad for the 2018 Pakistan Cup.[29][30] He made his List A debut for Baluchistan on 25 April 2018.[31]

In July 2019, Afridi was selected to play for the Rotterdam Rhinos in the inaugural edition of the Euro T20 Slam cricket tournament.[32][33] However, the following month the tournament was cancelled.[34]

In December 2019, it was announced that Afridi will play for Hampshire County Cricket Club in the 2020 T20 Blast in England.[35] In September 2020, Hampshire confirmed his participation in the 2020 T20 Blast, and announced that he will be available after fulfilling his national duties.[36]

On 20 September 2020, in the final round of group matches in the T20 Blast, Afridi took a hat-trick and four wickets in four balls, finishing with match figures of 6/19 from his four overs and recording the best ever bowling figures at the Rose Bowl in T20 cricket.[37][38]

On 2 October 2020, in the 2020–21 National T20 Cup, Afridi took his second five-wicket haul in three T20 games, with figures of 5/20 from his four overs.[39] Three days later, Afridi took another five-wicket haul, with 5/21 in the match against Sindh.[40] In October 2021, Afridi signed with Middlesex to play in domestic matches in England until July 2022.[41] However, he returned to Pakistan in mid-May to prepare for the national team's home series against the West Indies.[42]

In December 2021, he was named as the captain of Lahore Qalandars.[43] Afridi later stated that Imran Khan had suggested for him to become captain, which led to the change in captaincy.[44] Under his captaincy, Qalandars won the 2022 PSL, which made him the youngest captain to win a T20 league.[45][46] He also ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker.[47]

International career edit

 
Afridi (behind the stumps) and Prince William playing tapeball cricket in Lahore, in 2019

In March 2018, he was named in Pakistan's Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for their series against the West Indies.[48][49] He made his T20I debut for Pakistan against the West Indies on 3 April 2018.[50] In September 2018, he was named in Pakistan's One Day International (ODI) squad for the 2018 Asia Cup.[51][52] He made his ODI debut for Pakistan against Afghanistan on 21 September 2018.[53]

In November 2018, he was named in Pakistan's Test squad for their series against New Zealand.[54] He made his Test debut for Pakistan against New Zealand on 3 December 2018.[55]

In April 2019, he was named in Pakistan's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.[56][57] On 5 July 2019, in the match against Bangladesh, Shaheen became the youngest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a World Cup match, finishing with figures of 6/35.[58] These were also the best bowling figures by a bowler for Pakistan in a World Cup match.[59] Following the World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named Afridi as the rising star of the squad.[60]

In December 2019, during the second Test match against Sri Lanka, Afridi took his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket.[61]

In June 2020, he was named in a 29-man squad for Pakistan's tour to England during the COVID-19 pandemic.[62][63] In July, he was shortlisted in Pakistan's 20-man squad for the Test matches against England.[64][65] In September 2021, he was named in Pakistan's squad for the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup.[66]

In January 2022, Afridi was named the Cricketer of the Year by the International Cricket Council. He took 78 wickets in 36 international matches in 2021.[67] In October 2023, he took a 5 wicket haul against Australia in the 2023 Cricket World Cup match.[68] On 31 October, he became the fastest Pakistani bowler to get 100 wickets in ODI's, as well as the fastest pacer to do so.[69] He achieved the feat in 51 matches, overtaking Saqlain Mushtaq, who took 53 matches to complete 100 wickets.[70]

On 15 November 2023, Afridi was appointed as T20I captain after Babar Azam resigned from captaincy in all three formats of the game.[71][72]

Awards edit

References edit

  1. ^ Urdu: شاہین شاہ آفریدی; Pashto: شاهین شاه اپریدی
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External links edit


Preceded by Pakistani national cricket captain (T20I)
2023–
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Awards
Preceded by Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy
2021
Succeeded by