Cricket

Afridi happy to be back

2011-11-21 15:00
Shahid Afridi (File)

Sharjah - Popular all-rounder Shahid Afridi on Monday said he has put all off-field problems behind him after guiding Pakistan to an impressive series win over Sri Lanka.

The 31-year-old hit a fighting 75 to lift Pakistan from a precarious 120-7 to 200 before taking 5-35 to derail Sri Lanka from 155-3 to 174 all out at the Sharjah stadium on Sunday, giving his team an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

That all-round performance capped Afridi's return to international cricket after he fell out with former coach Waqar Younis and ex-chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Ijaz Butt which saw him retire in protest.

Afridi, who only returned after Butt was replaced by Zaka Ashraf last month, said performing well is now more important for him.

"I think action speaks louder than words, a lot has been said but now I want to be a good cricketer and want to perform," said Afridi, who became the only player to score a half-century and take five wickets in the same one-day on two occasions.

His off-field problems had threatened an early finish to a high flying career during which he had been popular for his dashing strokeplay, more so among Pathans who hail from the same North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan as Afridi does.

Afridi rose to fame in his first series in 1997, hitting a 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in Kenya - still a world record for the fastest one-day hundred.

He also holds the record for hitting most one-day sixes with 293 - a stroke which fans always want from Afridi.

And a packed 16 000 crowd, mostly Pathan expats in the United Arab Emirates, was at hand to applaud every stroke Afridi played during his 65-ball knock, studded with four boundaries and three towering sixes.

"When you have a good atmosphere around you, then you try your best to deliver and I am overjoyed by the support in Sharjah where they cheered my singles so I was happy to put my head down initially," said Afridi.

Afridi said he is happy to support his captain Misbah-ul Haq.

"The way Misbah is leading, its great and the management is very good and when I was the captain Misbah was very helpful so I need to support him now he is the captain," said Afridi of Misbah who replaced him in June this year.

Afridi said as a senior player he wanted to be a role model.

"I want seniors to take more responsibility because I don't want youngsters to be told in every meeting that they must improve, so I want to set some examples for the new players," said Afridi.

The fifth and final match is in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pakistan and Sri Lanka alo play a Twenty20 in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Read more on:    pakistan cricket  |  shahid afridi
NEXT ON SPORT24X

LIVE: Australia v Proteas

2014-11-22 22:58

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which cricketer is currently of most value to the Proteas' Test team?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.