How to Report on Shahid Afridi?

How to Report on Shahid Afridi?

Whenever a sports reporter, be it from the electronic or the print media, starts reporting on a player or a match, he/she normally has an arsenal of statistics to use for his/her report. They love to dig out different numbers and statistics from the dusted pages of history to support their ‘cause’. Very few names can be taken out from this field which can be considered as ‘neutral’ sports eporters/analysts. Most of them have some hidden agenda or the other. Very few readers would know that just like the Pakistan Cricket Team, the Pakistani Sports journalist community is also bitterly divided into different lobbies.


Some support particular  players/selectors/coaches from a particular city while some also fall into the ethnicity formation, then there are also some who would support their players who act as their ‘moles’ in the team and help those reporters to get the inside news from the dressing room. When you read a particular report and analyze what or how that particular reporter/analyst has outlined his report, you will easily be able to ‘smell’ the agenda behind that report.


Recently Shahid Afridi was omitted from the one-day squad for the series against India. The social-media and the main-stream media was full of people who expressed themselves with every word in the dictionary to support or oppose this decision. Lets me give you an example:


“Boom Boom (Yeah that has to be a part of the name) Shahid Afridi” or “Maya-Naz All-rounder” (Impressive All-rounder) Shahid Afridi, who has captained the Pakistani team in many matches (18 ODIs to be precise) and has taken 348 wickets in 349 matches (yeah that’s less than 1 wicket per match) and scored more than 7000 runs in ODIs (at an avg of 23.34 runs/match). Against India, this all-rounder has a best bowling figure of 4/20 in an ODI match (which was 8 years ago in 2004) and his highest score against the arch-rival is 109 (on 19 Sept 1998, more than 14 years ago). When playing in India against the home team our team could have used the services of the experienced player who could have taken the pressure comfortably (Total 16 matches against India in India: Pick up the last 5 matches and he has a batting avg of 18.4 runs and a bowling economy rate of 5.70 per over in which he has picked up only 2 wickets, so talking about taking pressure doesn’t really suit here). Afridi though has been going through a rough patch recently could have been able to pick up his form if he had been given the chance (Since 1st match of the ODI World Cup in 2011 his batting avg has been 17.57, he hasn’t scored a fifty in the last 10 ODIs and has taken 7 wickets only in these 10 ODIs).”

Now either you can ignore the statistics in the brackets or use them to support the anti-Afridi argument – that totally depends which side of the table you are sitting. You can never deny that Shahid Afridi has surely been a match-winner but there is always an end to a great career; people who have realized this about this player are increasing with every passing day, the question is when will he understand this himself?

Mansoor Ali Khan

A GEO News Anchor..

  • saif

    Would you please re-read your article, specially these lines, to correct the figures. 2004 was not 14 years ago its almost 8 years ago.

    Against India, this all-rounder has a best bowling figure of 4/20 in an ODI match (which was 12 years ago in 2004) and his highest score against the arch-rival is 109 (on 19 Sept 1998, more than 14 years ago).


  • Zuhair Anwar

    Against India, this all-rounder has a best bowling figure of 4/20 in an ODI match (which was 12 years ago in 2004).


  • Syed Zahir

    Very well written, but even in this blog, I am missing the element of neutrality :) .. I can’t see his record of number of sixes, fastest century, strike rate, among the top wicket takers in 2011 and few others :) Although, Afridi doesn’t deserve the place, but I feel in the absence of Raza Hasan, Abdur Rehman, Hammad, Razzak, he should have been selected. We hardly have an all rounder in the squad and a spinner apart from Ajmal, hafeez.. Anyway, can anyone please justify Younis Khan selection? his ODI record is miserable. Kohli has already scored more centuries than YK in ODIs and with Azhar, Misbah in the XI, do we really need a solid batsman in the middle order? Remember on Indian pitches, 280 290 is an average score !!

  • S Nasrullah

    One cannot live on past laurels. Life is dynamic and not static. A prolific player performs, most of the times, if not always. Not in the game of Cricket – the game of glorious uncertainties where one can never say never die. Gifted players know when to call it a day, while still in the reckoning, and not when the slope they run downhill leads to unceremonious exit.

    Shah Rukh Khan of Bollywood, also known as the King Khan, modestly stated that every film he signs, he studies the script to define his role and once accepted he has to LIVE the role and not PLAY the role. While it is more demanding, it forces him to draw from the Reserves, people call Potential or Latent Talent.

    People go through a bad patch. But it is transitory and for a short while. It does not last entire season and importantly, crucial matches where the Nation expect them to perform and prove their mettle. Shahid Afridi has been a great cricketer – there is no doubt about it. The question is how is he performing now. The present and not the past is in the crucible. Unlike the class of people who after qualifying the CSS and completing their Training are turned permanent Bureaucrats and thus become the Holy Cows that none can differ or dislodge. Public heroes in variety of games and sports are bee-hives under a glass shell and every act of theirs is under full public scrutiny. They need to constantly recharge the flagging public trust in them by proving the talent they are attributed with and admired.

  • maz007

    I think this was a great decision. It would really help the team for sure. He has never shown some responsibility. Only when he was captain, then there was some responsibility but that was long time ago, And if you are not captain, then you need to show responsibility as well for the team and for the country, not for yourself..!! Somehow i feel, he is selfish and he only likes to do what he want, never cared about the situation.. :/


    you can say what you want ! but one fact will always remain that shahid afridi is a great player and there’s no end to a great player .. unfortunatly if shahid afridi does not play against india it will be pakistan’s biggest MISTAKE !!!!

  • M.Saeed

    Cricket is now mostly the game of nerves and reflexes. It is natural that reflexes weaken with age and nervous system gets crowded with ever increasing worries of life. Therefore, every boom has its instantaneous ingredients at credit and each and every instant of glory or fall can be analysed for finding most of its contributing factors.

    Shahid Afridi is no more a juvenile-teen in formative age. He has many roles in life to play simultaneously that consume much more than full concentration needed to perform his erstwhile cricket-boom.

    Every cricketer has to undergo through all these stages but, each and every player also has his own limiting engagements and Afridi has much more “other engagements” than other players that reduce his performances in the game of cricket.

  • Mansoor Ali Khan

    Ohh really? …. How about you check this link and see the date for yourself :D

  • Mansoor Ali Khan

    Again buddy you are quoting me examples from a long time back. His form can only be judged from the last 10 matches or past one year.