Wednesday Sep 01 2021

Shaheen Afridi rejects impression he is overworked

Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi celebrates after taking a wicket. Photo: AFP
Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi celebrates after taking a wicket. Photo: AFP

  • Shaheen Afridi insists he is completely fit, team management handling him well. 
  • Shaheen urges fans not to react harshly over bad performances from teams. 
  • Fast bowler praises Ramiz Raja, hopes he will use experience to improve Pakistan cricket.

Left-arm Pakistani pacer Shaheen Afridi has rejected worries and speculation that the management is overusing him and that it could result in injuries or that he is fatigued. 

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Jang, the Pakistani bowler said the national squad's physiotherapist Clifee Deacon and trainer Yasir Malik are managing his workload quite well. 

"I inform [the team management] whenever I feel I need to be rested," he said. "I am completely fit right now," he added. 

The fast bowler said Ian Bishop and other commentators advise him on what is best for him, but that he feels every cricket team has its own system and way of managing players. 

"The team management knows best when to give which player ample amount of rest," he noted. 

Shaheen said he had asked the PCB to rest him for the Afghanistan series as playing cricket consistently over the past few months and staying in the coronavirus bubble had taken a toll over him. 

Speaking about his recent quality bowling against various teams, Shaheen said he couldn't thank God enough for the success he has enjoyed at such a young age. 

He also revealed he isn't particularly keen on breaking records. 

"I am not focused on breaking any fast bowler's records for the simple reason that records will always keep on breaking. I always try to keep myself completely fit and play for longer durations for Pakistan," he said.

He recalled some of his favourite achievements over the past couple of years, saying that taking 18 wickets against the West Indies was not an easy task and taking 10 wickets in the second innings was a memorable moment for the bowler. 

Shaheen Afridi also fondly recalled how he took eight wickets in his First Class debut match and achieved national fame after his strong showing during his early days as a cricketer playing the PSL and notching up wickets against the Multan Sultans. 

Last but not the least, for the young Afridi, taking six wickets at Lord's against Bangladesh during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was one of the most memorable achievements of his career.

Shaheen also had a special message for Pakistani cricket fans, urging them not to react harshly over a single performance. "It is not possible for a bowler to take four or five wickets in every match that he plays," he said. "My fans love me, but harsh reactions [from fans] affects our families too. We are human beings too. Please ignore our bad performances," he added. 

He praised cricket commentator Ramiz Raja, saying that his appointment as Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) chairman is a welcome development. 

"Imran Khan as prime minister and Ramiz Raja as chairman PCB will benefit Pakistan cricket," he said. "I met Imran Khan before the 2019 cricket world cup. I haven't had the pleasure to meet him separately," he added. 

He hoped Ramiz Raja will help uplift Pakistan cricket, using his vast experience as a former cricketer and an ex-PCB administrator.