I’m sure you all know what day it is – it’s Shahid Afridi and Abdur Rehman’s birthday! And what kind of cricket blog would we be if we don’t dedicate a post to our two favorite spinners on their special day? So here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to list down five things we love about these players!
5 reasons why we love Afridi:
1) His gorgeous, never-fazing smile! I can’t get over the smile he had on his face when he took the single that won us our first T20 title in 2009. Or the smile that he gave Yuvraj Singh in the recently concluded T20 series against India. That smile can seriously melt hearts, or break hearts in the opposition’s case.
2) His trademark wicket celebration style! No fist-pumping, jumping or shouting like all the bowlers do it. Arms raised towards heaven with that fierce expression – that’s how Boom Boom does it. And that’s one sight that can pump up any Pakistani cricket fan in the world.
3) 17 years later, Shahid Afridi still holds the record for the fastest ODI century ever made. A lot of you may say that record was made a long time ago and what difference does it make if it can’t help us now? Well, that’s the thing. It DOES make a difference. A record is a record and at least he’s contributed towards etching Pakistan’s name in cricketing history. However small that achievement may be, it’s a achievement nonetheless, and one that we shall cherish forever.
4) His unpredictability. No matter what form he’s in, he still possesses that unique ability to instill fear into the opposition, both through his batting and bowling. Because with Shahid Afridi, you can never tell when a perfect yorker can be smashed away into the grounds for a six, or a loose delivery can be followed by a fast one crashing into the stumps, destroying your wicket.
5) I love him for how he apologized to his nation for having lost the World Cup semi-final against India in 2011. I know that’s not something very distinctive for a captain to do, but that was one day when a lot of Pakistani cricket fans had their hearts broken and just those two words, “I’m sorry,” made the pain so much more bearable. It went on to show that Shahid Afridi has always been one of those few players who play cricket for their fans and their nation, first and foremost.
5 reasons why we love Abdur Rehman:
1) His poker face! This had to top our list. He takes a wicket, he has a poker face, he gets smashed for a six, he has a poker face, he smiles, he has a poker face, he’s angry, he has a poker face. What would we do without one poker face in our team?
2) His perseverance. If I was him, I would have lost hope and left cricket long ago. Even with the talent he possesses, this man hardly gets a chance to play for Pakistan. Yet, he’s always there in the dressing room waiting for his turn. And when he does get a chance, he makes sure he won’t disappoint the team and his fans. I remember this one match where he wasn’t selected in the playing XI even after a good performance in the previous one, I saw Intikhab Alam cheering him up like a small kid. His head was lowered and he seemed sad when Intikhab Alam came to him and said something and he shook his head like a kid and started laughing.
3) He’s left-handed! I’ve always had a soft spot for left-handed people, and Abdur Rehman is no exception. Moreover, he’s one of the deadliest left-arm spinners I know.
4) Who can forget his amazing performance against the goras in the UAE last year. He practically won us the second Test match singlehandedly.
5) In one of his interviews, Abdur Rehman said that he doesn’t bowl to take wickets, he bowls to put pressure so other bowlers can take wickets. After this statement, my respect for him went a million notches up. He’s the kind of man who wins you matches from behind the scenes. He’s the unsung hero.
Well, that’s our list! If you have any more reasons as to why you love these two players, add them in through your comments!