Boom Boom Afridi not as young as we thought he was? As many fans have suspected, Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi is not as young as official records have stated all these years. Afridi himself has made this revelation in his autobiography Game Changer which released this week. In one of the chapters he talks about his call-up to the senior Pakistan team in October 1996, Afridi mentions that he was born in 1975. Although he doesn’t talk about the month or day, this makes him potentially, five years older than what the official cricketing records stated as March 1,1980.
Shahid Afridi made his debut in an ODI tri-series tournament in Nairobi Kenya, and most famously, scored his record breaking 37 ball hundred the first time he batted in international cricket. The record stood unbroken for over 17 years and what made it even more special was the fact that it was made by a 16-year old. However, now we know, he wasn’t.
But then again Afridi stirs further confusion in his book with the following line: “Also, for the record, I was just nineteen, and not sixteen like they claim. I was born in 1975. So, yes, the authorities stated my age incorrectly.” By doing the math, if he was born in 1975, that would make him 20 or 21 at the time of his record breaking innings and not 19 as he writes.
The year 1975 would also mean that Afridi was 34 or 35 when he suddenly retired from Test cricket in 2010, having returned after a 4 year hiatus from the format- as captain- and staying for just one test match. Furthermore this also suggests that when Afridi finally played his last game for Pakistan at the 2016 World T20, he was not 36 but 40 or 41.
Whatever his age might be, Shahid Afridi still remains a legend of the game. After leading Pakistan to a memorable World T20 win in 2009, his contemporary Younis Khan announced his retirement from the shorter format, saying that he was 34 and “ too old for this kind of cricket.” On the contrary Afridi retired from International cricket on February 19th 2017, and he would have been 41 or 42 at the time.
Author: Rafai Qamar-uz-Zaman