Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Shaheen Shah Afridi believes he and fellow Pakistan pace bowler Naseem Shah can “create our own place in history”.
Afridi and Naseem have been hailed as the next Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, which Afridi said is an “honour for both Naseem and I”.
However, while he and Naseem want to follow in the legendary duo’s footsteps, the 20-year-old added that it is also important they have their own identity and people remember “us as two bowlers who achieved so much for Pakistan”.
Akram and Waqar formed one of the most formidable bowling partnerships in cricket history and tormented opposition batsmen for years.
Akram featured in 104 Tests and took 414 wickets at an average of 23.62.
He is also the second-highest wicket-taker in ODI history as he claimed 502 wickets in 356 matches at an average of 23.52.
As for Waqar, he picked up 373 wickets in 87 Tests at an average of 23.56.
He also played 262 ODIs and snapped up 416 wickets at an average of 23.84.
“It’s perfectly natural for people to feel optimistic about any young player who is representing their country. The hopes and dreams of our fans and the love they have for us gives rise to such comparisons and unfortunately the age of the player doesn’t matter,” Afridi told PakPassion.
“From my point of view, it is indeed an honour for both Naseem and I to be compared to the two Ws but our objective is not only to follow in their footsteps but to create our own place in history so that people will know us as two bowlers who achieved so much for Pakistan. I know that we have a long way to go but we will try our best to achieve those goals.”
Afridi is now playing for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National T20 Cup and finished with figures of 1-38 off his four overs in the team’s opening match against Northern, who are the defending champions.
However, his effort with the ball went in vain as Northern cruised to a 79-run win behind Haider Ali’s 48-ball 90, which included seven boundaries and five sixes, and Zeeshan Malik’s 47-ball 77, which included eight boundaries and three sixes.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s next game will be against Balochistan on October 2.
Naseem played for Central Punjab on September 30 and finished with figures of 1-40 off his four overs. Despite being expensive, Central Punjab beat Southern Punjab by seven wickets thanks to debutant Abdullah Shafique’s unbeaten 102.
Central Punjab will next be in action against Sindh on October 2.