Afridi shouldn’t be playing top level cricket any longer. This has been clear for at least a couple of years now.
In Karachi’s cricketing language, ‘Tara bana diya’ or ‘khare hogaie’. This basically means elevation without much distance. They say the most difficult of catches are the ones where the fielder has to run semi backwards, keeping the eyes on the ball, while moving in the opposite direction.
This is one of those. Afridi catches it. He catches it with ease. Stands arms aloft. Start of the lala trademark. Look at me, he roared. I am at my prime, I am the best of Afridi. From that moment Pakistan were unbeatable in the tournament. Blowing kisses to opponents, Afridi took Pakistan to the title.
3 months ago, the Sri Lankan team was attacked in Lahore. Rock bottom for Pakistani fans, if ever there was one.
Andhera hamara tu ne ley lia
Tera ujla sitra hamaray nam kia
Round 1 of PSL games, Karachi vs Peshawar. Hasan Ali, a PSL product, runs into ball. It pitches short of a length. Shoiab Malik goes for his forehand type pull, but it only catches the top edge. It went up a mile in the air. Afridi runs after it. They say the most difficult of catches are the ones where the fielder has to run semi backwards, keeping the eyes on the ball, while moving in the opposite direction.
This is one of those. Afridi misses it. He misses it by a fair distance and hits the floor. Everything seems to pause for that brief moment. Afridi, lying flat on his back as if his body refuses to cooperate. It had a sense of what am I even doing here. Gary Neville, Hawthorns’ toilet, I thought to myself. Afridi, tried to piece together the tumbling parts. In an Elongated and procedural event, he came back to his feet. But he is Shahid Afridi. Defiance and a blind belief in his ability has brought him this super stardom. So he puts on the façade, once again. He smiles as if this was a one off. Then goes on to blame the swirling ball. He might be right. May be the ball was swirling. It was a very difficult chance. The ring of fire may look fancy but it isn’t the most suitable for high catching. However, there is another side to this. Afridi, shouldn’t be fielding on short fine leg, he shouldn’t be in such physical shape in a cricket match.
Afridi shouldn’t be playing top level cricket any longer. This has been clear for at least a couple of years now. This comes from a man who is a fan Afridi. Call it guilty pleasure or my insanity, this is closest I have come to doing drugs. The 2nd half of Afridi’s career where he became a bowler with excellent control, and occasional blitz with the bat, was exceptional. It’s the 3rd phase I am worried about.
Mehfil mai PSL ke tu na rahey jo
Ghum to nahe hai, ghum to nahe hai
I could present stats and figures to prove my point. But this is Afridi. You don’t define Afridi in numbers. You define Afridi in how he makes you feel. Currently, it feels like a bulky man is playing a Afridi double. I would want to remember Afridi as the man who led Pakistan to a World Cup batting at 3. Taking the game, head on. This Afridi, is a shadow of the Afridi we loved. Fielding at short fine leg? A man hiding from action. This is not Afridism. He would pull a rabbit out of the hat every so often. The pursuit of elusive one last shot at my only drug is perhaps too much to ask.
Afridi should go because we fans would like to keep tumharay achay kam in our Dil k Sandook.* Haha . Must stay tuned For more updates.