Renowned all rounder Shahid Khan Afridi, exhibiting the best all round performance in the second and the final Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka, smashed an unbeaten whirlwind 52 off 33 balls, claimed two key wickets and took a smart catch to help Pakistan level the series.
This magnificent performance earned him the ‘Man-of-the-Match’ award – the seventh in his career–, which is a world record in T20I cricket.
The 32-year-old also became the first player to appear in fifty T20 Internationals as no other player has achieved this feat. Brendan McCullum of New Zealand has played 47 such matches.
Besides, Afridi holds Pakistan record of scoring the most runs (801) and a world record for taking the highest number of wickets (58) in this format.
The former Pakistan captain has already set various world and national records in One-day International cricket.
However, it is strange to note that on the day Afridi played this memorable match, former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt said in a statement that Shaid Afridi was not a suitable player for a T20 match.
Moreover, the team management has disallowed media from talking to Afridi just a day after he played his 50th T20 International. According to a report, Pakistan team manager Naveed Akram Cheema told media persons covering the ongoing series in Sri Lanka that they could talk to any national cricketer other than Afridi.
The report suggested the reason why Afridi was gagged by the team management was the player’s habit of making careless statements.