Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi (شاہد افریدی; Pashto: شاهد اپریدی; born 1980),popularly known as Boom Boom, is a former Pakistani cricketer and former captain of the Pakistan national cricket team. As a successful all-rounder, Afridi was respected for his consistent bowling that relies on change of pace rather than spin, but drew greater attention for his aggressive batting style. Afridi was the world record holder for the fastest ODI century in 37 deliveries and holds the distinction of having hit the most number of sixes in the history of ODI cricket.
Afridi considers himself a better bowler than batsman, and has taken 48 Test wickets and over 350 in ODIs. Currently Afridi is leading the chart of most T20I wickets with 98 wickets from 99 matches. He also holds a record of taking most wickets (98) and most player-of-the match awards in Twenty20 International cricket.
On 19 February 2017, Afridi announced his retirement from international cricket. However, he made a brief return to international cricket after being selected to represent and captain the World XI against West Indies in the 2018 Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge charity match. Following the conclusion of the match, Afridi announced his retirement from international cricket at the Lord’s cricket stadium on 31 May 2018.
Early and personal life
Afridi was born on 1 March 1980 in Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan. He is from the Afridi tribe of Pashtuns. Afridi is married to his maternal cousin Nadia Afridi and has four daughters: Aqsa, Ansha, Ajwa and Asmara.
In October 1996 at age 16, Afridi was drafted into the ODI team during the four-nation Sameer Cup 1996–97 as a leg spinner as a replacement for the injured Mushtaq Ahmed. He made his debut on 2 October against Kenya; however, he didn’t bat and went wicketless. In the next match against Sri Lanka, Afridi batted at number three in the role of a pinch-hitter. In his first international innings, Afridi broke the record for fastest century in ODI cricket, reaching his hundred from 37 balls. The eleven sixes he struck also equaled the record for most in an ODI innings.[nb 1] Aged 16 years and 217 days, Afridi became the youngest player to score an ODI century. Pakistan posted a total of 371, at the time the second-highest in ODIs, and won by 82 runs; Afridi was named man of the match. The record for fastest century in ODI was broken by New Zealand cricketer Corey Anderson on 1 January 2014 who hit 131* runs from 36 balls and is now held by South-African cricketer AB de Villiers who made a century from 31 balls on 18 January 2015 against West Indies.
Afridi with his teammates during the 2009 World Twenty20 in June 2009
Afridi with Shoaib Malik after winning the 2009 World Twenty20
Two years after appearing on the international scene, Afridi made his Test debut in the third game of a three-match series against Australia on 22 October 1998. By this point he had already played 66 ODIs, at the time a record before playing Tests. He opened the batting, making scores of 10 and 6, and took five wickets in the first innings. He played his second Test the following January during Pakistan’s tour of India; it was the first Test between the two countries since 1990. Again opening the batting, Afridi scored his maiden Test century, scoring 141 runs from 191 balls. In the same match he also claimed three wickets for 54 runs. After winning the first match by 12 runs, Pakistan lost the second to draw the series.
In 2001, Afridi signed a contract to represent Leicestershire. In five first-class matches he scored 295 runs at an average of 42.14, including a highest score of 164, and took 11 wickets at an average of 46.45; Afridi also played 11 one day matches for the club, scoring 481 runs at an average of 40.08 and taking 18 wickets at 24.04. His highest score of 95 came from 58 balls in a semi-final of the C&G Trophy to help Leicestershire beat Lancashire by seven wickets. Derbyshire County Cricket Club signed Afridi to play for them in the first two months of the 2003 English cricket season. In June 2004 Afridi signed with English county side Kent to play for them in three Twenty20 matches and one Totesport League match.
An innings-by-innings breakdown of Afridi’s Test match batting career up to 30 December 2007, showing runs scored (red bars) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line)
Afridi made his presence felt in the third Test against India in March 2005, scoring a quick-fire second-innings half-century and taking five wickets in the match (including Tendulkar twice) to help Pakistan to win the game and register a series draw. In April Afridi struck what at the time was the equal second-fastest century in ODIs; he reached 100 off 45 deliveries against India, sharing the record with West Indian Brian Lara. Afridi was more consistent with his batting and bowling throughout 2005, starting with the tours of India and West Indies and through to the England tour. The Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer helped Afridi to reach a fuller potential by improving his shot selection and giving him free rein over his batting attitude.
On 21 November 2005, Shahid Afridi was banned for a Test match and two ODIs for deliberately damaging the pitch in the second match of the three-Test series against England. Television cameras pictured him scraping his boots on the pitch scuffing the surface when play was held up after a gas canister exploded. Afridi later pleaded guilty to a level three breach of the ICC code of conduct relating to the spirit of the game. Match referee Roshan Mahanama said: “This ban should serve as a message to players that this type of behaviour is not allowed.”
On 12 April 2006, Afridi announced a temporary retirement from Test cricket so that he could concentrate on ODIs, with a particular focus on the 2007 World Cup, and to spend more time with his family. He said he would consider reversing his decision after the World Cup. Afridi had played ten Tests since being recalled to the side in January 2005, averaging 47.44 with the bat including four centuries. However, on 27 April he reversed his decision, saying that “[Woolmer] told me that I am one of the main players in the team and squad and that Pakistan really needed me”. Before Pakistan toured England in July to September, Afridi played for Ireland as an overseas player in the C&G Trophy. In six matches, he scored 128 runs and took seven wickets. England won the four-match Test series 3–0; Afridi played two matches, scoring 49 runs and took three wickets. It was the last Test cricket Afridi played until 2010.
Afridi was charged on 8 February 2007 of bringing the game into disrepute after he was seen on camera thrusting his bat at a spectator who swore at him on his way up the steps after being dismissed. Afridi was given a four-game ODI suspension, the minimum possible ban for such an offence, meaning that he would miss Pakistan’s first two 2007 World Cup matches. The PCB and Afridi chose not to appeal the ban, despite feeling that the punishment was excessively harsh.
In the 2007 World Twenty20, he performed poorly with the bat but brilliantly with the ball, earning the Man of the Series award, though he failed to take a wicket in the final and was out for a golden duck. He also became the first person to receive the Player of the Tournament award in T20 World Cup history. But in the next ICC Twenty20 World Cup, held in 2009 Afridi performed brilliantly in the series scoring 50 runs in the semi-final and 54 in the final and leading his team to victory.
During the ICC World T20 final in 2009 v Sri Lanka at Lord’s. He set some allround records which are mindblowing
He became the first player to score a fifty in a successful runchase in a World T20 final.
Afridi became the first player to score a fifty and to take at least a single wicket in a World T20 final.
He also became the only player to win both the Player of the Final(2009) and the Player of the tournament awards in ICC World T20 history.
Shortly after Pakistan won the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 the captain Younis Khan announced his retirement from Twenty20 cricket the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) subsequently announced that Shahid Afridi had taken over as captain in T20Is; the appointment was initially for one match, with a decision on the permanent replacement to be made later. On 31 January 2010, Afridi was caught on camera biting into the ball towards the end of the 5th Commonwealth Bank ODI series in Australia. Later Afridi pleaded guilty to ball tampering and he was banned from two Twenty20 internationals.
In March 2010 the board announced that Shahid Afridi had been appointed ODI captain in place of the sacked Mohammad Yousuf he led Pakistan in the 2010 Asia Cup and during his first three matches as ODI captain he scored two centuries against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh he finished as the tournaments highest runscorer with 384 runs from 3 matches.
On 25 May 2010, Afridi was appointed captain of the national team in all three formats, after he announced his return to Test cricket. In July 2010, Afridi captained Pakistan in the first Test of the series at Lord’s against Australia. He scored 31 off 15 deliveries in the first innings and 2 in the second but was dismissed succumbing to rash strokes in both the innings. After the match, he announced retirement from Test cricket again citing lack of temperament for Test cricket as the reason. Afridi was officially removed from the Test squad on the England tour, but after the spot-fixing scandal saw Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and Test captain Salman Butt temporarily suspended by the International Cricket Council, he stated that he might return to Test cricket if “the team needs it”. According to a representative of Afridi, he had voiced his concerns about Mazhar Majeed – who had approached Pakistan’s players – in June. Majeed also confirmed that he approached Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Younis Khan and Saeed Ajmal but all off them refused to be affiliated with him of his fixing menace. Worth mentioning is that the four names given above were not associated in the original scandal and that no disciplinary action have been taken against them by the sports governing body the International Cricket Council.
Afridi’s results in international matches
Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied No result
Test 27 9 9 9 0 –
ODI 398 218 170 – 1 9
T20I 80 48 31 – 1 –
In October, Afridi stated in an interview with Express News that the squad had been selected without his consultation; the PCB gave him an official warning for the interview. Coach Waqar Younis also expressed his unhappiness at having no input in the selection; however, Mohsin Khan, the chief selector, defended the decision, stating, “it is not written down in the PCB constitution that the coach and captain(s) must have a say in the selection of any squad”. Pakistan lost the series 3–2.
Afridi in the field during a 50-over warm-up match against Somerset at the County Ground, Taunton, during Pakistan’s 2010 tour of England
The team toured New Zealand between December 2010 and February 2011 for two Tests, six ODIs, and three T20Is. Pakistan lost the first two T20Is but won the third; in final match Afridi became the first cricketer to reach 50 international wickets in the format. In the same match, he also became the first cricketer to have completed the double of 500 runs and 50 wickets in the T20 Internationals. When Pakistan’s squad for the 2011 World Cup was announced no captain was named; Afridi, the incumbent ODI captain and Misbah-ul-Haq, the Test captain, were the front runners for the position. Pakistan lost the first match against New Zealand by 8-wickets, the second match got rained out and in the third Mohammad Hafeez scored a century and Afridi scored a blistering 65 from just 25 balls. The following match was a tight game but Pakistan prevailed by two-wickets thanks to three boundaries from Sohail Tanvir, the match was set up by a 93 not out from Misbah-ul-Haq. The fifth ODI was won for Pakistan by 43 runs courtesy of a maiden ODI-century from Ahmed Shehzad. Afridi helped in the lower order by scoring 24 and taking two crucial top order wickets to help guide Pakistan to a 43-run victory and their first ODI series win in two years.
After gaining victory as a captain against New Zealand, the PCB declared Shahid Afridi as Pakistan’s captain for the 2011 World Cup. In Pakistan’s opening match of the tournament, Afridi took 5 wickets for 16 runs against Kenya, giving him the best bowling figures by a Pakistan bowler in a World Cup. In the following match against Sri Lanka, which Pakistan won, Afridi claimed for more wickets to help his side to victory and became the second player to have scored 4,000 runs and taken 300 wickets in ODIs.[nb 2] He claimed 17 wickets from 6 matches in the first round of the Cup, including a five-wicket haul against Canada, as Pakistan finished top of their group and progressed to the next stage. After beating the West Indies in the quarter-final, with Afridi taking four wickets, Pakistan were knocked out of the semi-finals in a 29-run defeat to India. Afridi was the tournament’s joint-leading wicket-taker with 21 wickets, level with India’s Zaheer Khan, even though Afridi had played one match less than him.
Soon after the World Cup Pakistan toured the West Indies for a T20I, five ODIs, and two Tests. Pakistan lost the only T20I but won the ODI series that followed 3–2. Afridi took two wickets and scored 28 runs in the series. The coach, Waqar Younis, fell out with Afridi and in his report on the tour criticised Afridi, saying “as a captain he is very immature, has poor discipline, lacks a gameplan and is unwilling to listen to others’ opinions or advice”. After the series, on 19 May the PCB replaced Afridi as ODI captain with Misbah-ul-Haq for the two-match ODI series against Ireland later that month. In 34 ODIs as captain, Afridi led his side to 18 wins and 15 defeats. Afridi subsequently withdrew from the touring squad, citing the illness of his father.
Conditional retirement and return (2011–2017)
On 30 May Afridi announced his conditional retirement from international cricket in protest against his treatment by the PCB. The condition on his return was that the board be replaced. The PCB suspended Afridi’s central contract, fined him 4.5 million rupees ($52,300), and revoked his no-objection certificate (NOC) which allowed Afridi to play for Hampshire. Afridi filed a petition with the Sindh High Court to overturn the sanctions. On 15 June, Afridi withdrew his petition after an out of court settlement and the PCB reinstated his NOC. When the PCB’s central contracts were renewed in August, Afridi’s was allowed to lapse. In October he withdrew his retirement as Ijaz Butt had been replaced as chairman of the PCB.  Two weeks after his announcement, Afridi was included in Pakistan’s squad to face Sri Lanka in three ODIs and a T20I. In November 2011, Afridi became the only cricketer to score a half-century and take five wickets on two separate occasions in ODIs. Afridi achieved this feat in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka which helped Pakistan to secure the one-day series. He also became the first person to score 50 in his 50th T20 International (he is the only one to have played 50 T20Is as of 9 July 2012). Afridi holds the most Player of the Match awards with 7, one above Sanath Jayasuriya and Kevin Pietersen who are both tied in 2nd place with 6.
In 2013 during the first ODI game against the West Indies in Guyana, Afridi finished with figures of 7/12, the second best ODI bowling figures of all time.
In July 2014, he played for the Rest of the World side in the Bicentenary Celebration match at Lord’s.
Afridi announced his retirement from ODI cricket after 2015 Cricket World Cup. Pakistan lost to Australia in the quarter final and lost the tournament.
In March 2016, Pakistan was eliminated from the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 after losing to India, New Zealand and Australia. There were talks about this being Afridi’s ‘last Twenty20’ and he said after the loss to Australia that he would think about retiring and announce it within a week. On 3 April 2016, he announced he will not be retiring, but instead just step down as Twenty20 Captain.
In September 2016, the PCB announced that they wanted Afridi to retire. Afridi said it was unfair for them to announce his plans in the media, but then said he wanted a farewell match, which didn’t happen as a result of him cancelling a meeting regarding the issue with the PCB.
In 2017, Afridi announced that he quit international cricket after 21 years, saying he would continue to play domestic T20 for another 2 years before retiring.
2016 ICC World Twenty20
In March 2016, Pakistan was unable to make it to the semi-finals in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 after losing to New Zealand, India and Australia. Before Australia’s match, the PCB hinted at Afridi’s retirement. However, he went against their decision after the match and announced that he would make the decision himself after consulting family and other iconic players beforehand and also announce it in Pakistan. He also stated that ‘as a player, I am fit. As a captain, I am not fit’. Former Australian player Ian Chappell praised his honesty in this confession.
Waqar Younis, the head coach, was initially blamed and he accepted responsibility and offered to retire. However, a six-page report by Younis was later leaked by the PCB to the media where he was shown to be pointing much of the blame onto Afridi. First Younis claimed that Afridi was ‘unfair’ to new cricketer Mohammad Nawaz by calling him up to bowl in the Asia Cup 2016 because it ‘destroyed the youngster’s confidence’ after he gave 38-runs in 3 overs. Younis went on to accuse Afridi of being ‘non-serious’ in the game along with saying that he missed training sessions and meetings. He also said that Afridi showed poor performance with the bat, ball and as a captain and was clearly not listened to by other players. Younis expressed great anger on the report being leaked as it led to fans criticising him for shifting the blame onto Afridi instead of accepting equal responsibility. Manager Intikhab Alam also called Afridi ‘clueless’ in the 3 matches but said Younis was unable to ensure that the players were physically fit.
Afridi was asked to appear to the enquiry committee, made up of Misbah-ul-Haq and other iconic players, who would hear his view on the situation. However, it was said he refused to until it was revealed that his daughter was in hospital undergoing surgery at the time. He opted to be interviewed by phone.
Days after the match, Afridi posted a video on Twitter, in which he apologised to all his fans for the teams disappointing performance. He said he didn’t care about what others were saying about him and only wanted to answer to his fans and wanted to apologise for letting them and Pakistan down. Despite earlier criticism, many fans commented and circulated that he should not be sorry, with many from India supporting him. Even during his arrival from Dubai back to Pakistan, a few days after the rest of the team, fans chanted ‘Boom Boom Afridi’ at the airport amidst high security.
In April 2016, he finally announced he was stepping down as T20I captain, but was not retiring. He said he wanted to “continue to play the game for my country”. Sarfraz Ahmed was appointed as Pakistan’s T20I captain following Afridi’s resignation.
In July 2010, Afridi announced his retirement from Test cricket. After the 2015 ICC World Cup, he retired from ODI cricket as well. In February 2017, he announced his retirement from T20Is and international cricket. However, in April 2018, he was named in the Rest of the World XI squad for the one-off T20I against the West Indies, which was played at Lord’s on 31 May 2018. He went on to captain the side, aften Eoin Morgan had to withdraw due to injury.
In May 2018, he was named as one of the ten marquee players for the first edition of the Global T20 Canada cricket tournament. On 3 June 2018, he was selected to play for the Edmonton Royals in the players’ draft for the inaugural edition of the tournament.
In September 2018, he was named as the Icon Player for Paktia’s squad in the first edition of the Afghanistan Premier League tournament.
Afridi bowling his stock leg-spin delivery
His general style of batting is very aggressive and attack oriented. Due to this reason, Indian cricketer Ravi Shastri gave him the nickname “Boom Boom”. Moreover, out of the seven fastest ODI centuries of all time, Afridi has produced three of them. As of May 2013, he has an ODI strike rate of 114.53 runs per 100 balls, the third highest in the game’s history. This attitude has been transferred to Test cricket as well, with Afridi scoring at a relatively high strike rate of 86.97.
He is known for hitting long sixes, while his trademark shot is a cross-batted flick to the leg-side to a ball outside off stump. However, his aggressive style increases his risk of getting out and he is one of the most inconsistent batsmen in cricket. This is reflected by the fact that he is the only player to score more than 7,000 ODI runs at an average under 25. Afridi is the only player in the world who has scored 1,000 runs and 50 wickets in the T20 format of the game. Afridi has moved about the batting order, and this lack of consistency has made it difficult for him to settle. In the Indian subcontinent, where the ball quickly loses its shine, he prefers to open the batting; however, elsewhere he prefers to bat at number six.
On 22 August 2017, in his 256th Twenty20 match, Afridi hit his first century in the format, scoring 101 for Hampshire in the 2017 NatWest t20 Blast against Derbyshire.
Having started as a fast bowler, Afridi decided to start bowling spin after he was told he was throwing. He modelled himself on Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir. Afridi began his career as primarily a bowler, but after scoring the fastest century in his maiden ODI innings more was expected of him with the bat. He considers himself a better bowler than batsman. While he is renowned for his aggressive batting, he is also a handy leg-spinner capable of producing a good mix of wicket taking balls. He has over 350 International wickets, most of which are from the ODI format. While his stock ball is the leg break, his armoury also includes the conventional off break and a “quicker one” which he can deliver in the style of a medium-pacer, reaching speeds of around 130 km/h (81 mph).
On 23 August 2018, after a match winning all-round performance in the Caribbean Premier League for Barbados Tridents, Australian cricketer Steve Smith said that he tried to model the bowling action of Afridi. He praised Afridi, calling him “a terrific leg-spinner”.
In March 2014, Shahid Afridi established the Shahid Afridi Foundation which aims to provide healthcare and education facilities in Pakistan. He was named among the world’s most charitable athletes by Do Something in August 2015.
UNICEF and many Pakistani authorities have taken Shahid Afridi on board for the anti-polio campaign in the tribal belt of lawless Waziristan region.
Holds the record for taking the most number of wickets as captain in T20Is
Holds the record for the best bowling figures as captain in a T20I
Most runs conceded by a bowler in his T20I career
Holds the record for taking the most number of T20I wickets when playing at away soil (29)
The first ever player to score a hat-trick in 10-over format for Pakhtoons vs Maratha Arabians [3–19 (2.0)]; 2017 T10 Cricket League
On July 2016, Afridi said in an interview with BBC Urdu that there is no talent in Pakistan. This resulted in huge opposition against Afridi, while PCB issued a notice against him. Later, Afridi tried to clarify his statement by explaining that there is no competition among players in the present.
On 6 September 2018, in a Defence Day event at Rawalpindi, Afridi was reportedly caught on the camera chewing tobacco. He was grilled by the media for this.However, Afridi denied these claims and clarified that he had been eating fennel seeds and clove.
Pakistan Super League
In the first two seasons of Pakistan Super League, Shahid Afridi was part of the franchise Peshawar Zalmi, winning the PSL Season 2 title with them.. After the end of the second season, Afridi was made the President of Karachi Kings. He also transferred to Karachi as a player ahead of PSL drafts.