Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Renowned cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle firmly believes that Pakistan left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi has what it takes to become part of the ‘fab four’.
Currently, India’s Jasprit Bumrah, South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, Australia’s Pat Cummins and New Zealand’s Trent Boult are considered to be the ‘fab four’ of pace bowlers.
However, given how well Afridi has been doing as of late, Bhogle believes the 20-year-old has a really bright future ahead of him.
“From Pakistan, there is Naseem Shah, but the one I like more than anyone else is Shaheen Afridi. A big left-hander who has got pace, but I hope he has got the staying power. Because if you look at [Mohammad] Amir, [Mohammad] Asif, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali. So many have come and gone. I am really hoping that he has the longevity,” Bhogle told Cricket Inside Out as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Afridi has been in incredible form for Pakistan since last year as he starred in the 2019 World Cup, where he took 16 wickets in five matches at an average of 14.62.
In Pakistan’s World Cup game against Bangladesh, Afridi finished with figures of 6-35 off 9.1 overs.
As a result, Afridi, who was 19 at the time, not only became the youngest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a World Cup match, but also registered the best figures by a Pakistan player in a World Cup game.
In the two-Test series against Australia, he was Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker with five wickets an average of 36.80.
He also took the most wickets for Pakistan in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka as he claimed eight wickets at an average of 23.25.
In the Twenty20 series against Bangladesh, Afridi picked up two wickets in two matches at an average of 22.50 and an economy rate of 5.62.
As for the first Test against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi, which Pakistan won by an innings and 44 runs, Afridi took five wickets, four of which came in the first innings.
Most recently, Afridi was the second-highest wicket-taker in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) with 13 wickets in nine matches for the Lahore Qalandars at an average of 18.92 and an economy rate of 7.02.
The talented seamer was also given a central contract for the 2020-2021 season.
Afridi received a Category A contract, which is worth PKR 1.1 million. Other than him, only limited overs captain Babar Azam and Test skipper Azhar Ali got Category A contracts.