Interview with Shahid Afridi.
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|Shahid Afridi is Pakistan's new
aggressive One Day all-rounder who holds the world record for the fastest century off 37 balls against Sri Lanka.
Till the time of this interview, Shahid Afridi has played 61 ODI's for Pakistan and is yet to play test cricket.
He has scored 1343 runs at an average of 23.98. As a leg spin bowler, has taken 39 wickets at an average of 67.9.
He took some time out from the ongoing Training Camp of the Pakistani players preparing for the 1998-99 season
to chat to us on the IRC channel #cricket, live from Lahore on 18 June 1998. Questions were accepted via the live
chat channel and via email. Suhael Ahmed assisted in the interview while Rick Eyre (Rick on IRC) was the moderator.
Rick: OK, I'd like to welcome Shahid Afridi to the channel...one-day international all-rounder for Pakistan and world record holder for the fastest ODI century. If you have any questions please msg me. We have received many questions via email over the past few days and there is a lot of duplication between them, so I will be choosing the best written questions among those. Please keep your questions short.
Rick: I'll ask the first question... What is the next matches you will be playing in?
Afridi: It is good being here. I hope to play in Malayasia and the Sahara in Canada.
Faisal Butt, Qatar: What is your preferred batting position in the current team?
Afridi: I prefer batting at No.5, but its up to the captain of course and I want to perform at my best anyway.
Muhammad Ali Aamir, UK: How do you rate your chances of being a part of a Pakistan Test team in future?
Afridi: There are plenty of examples like Saeed Anwar and others who started off playing 40 ODI cricket (matches-Ed) then went on to Tests. I am trying hard in domestic cricket and my performance is good. I am hopeful to reach the test level soon.
Afridi: Hello to Adorable and Farhan! :-)) (In response to a request on the channel for a live confirmation-Ed)
Malik Saqib: Tell me the best inning you ever played in your cricket life?
Afridi: My innings in the B&H final versus the WI in Australia is my favouite.
Rick: Any reason why that one?
Afridi: Because I was injured and I did well in both batting and bowling.
Adorable: How did you feel when you made the fastest century?
Afridi: I was very happy because it was against SRL who had a record against us and I was able to even things up!
Owl_Bloke: ok, my Question, What's your favourite ground to play at, and why?
Afridi: I like the Sydney ground best and all our matches there are on a good batting wicket, great outfield and fun to play there.
Sohail Hanif: Would he ever consider playing for the County in UK?
Afridi: I wanted to play for Pakistan as there was a tour and if there is time in our off season I would like to play county cricket.
saikishore: Which one you enjoy the most -bowling 10 overs economically or hitting a faster 50 for your country?
Afridi: Both, I think todays ODIs require a good all-rounder and both batting and bowling is a must.
Coke: Question for Shahid: How did you like SA?
Rick: SA meaning South Africa
Afridi: Their cricket is great, they have academies. People are nice and the environment, greenery is good.
KamilGani: What countries do you enjoy touring the most? Sin-continent or Aus/NZ/SA/ENG?
Rick: sub-continent that should be
Afridi: I like touring West Indies, Aus and RSA best.
Asif, NZ: Afridi Bhai, Tell us most talented cricketer in domestic cricket you seen? Who you think could be superstar in future?
Afridi: Hasan Raza, Faisal Iqbal, Jannisar Khan and Mushtaq Afridi (my younger brother!) :-))
Barry Glynn, USA: What age were you when you played your first, first class match? Also at what age did you start bowling leg breaks and have you always bowled them?
Afridi: My first FC match was in '94 when I was 14 and since I was 10 I have been bowling leg breaks.
birley. India: What was your inspiration when u started playing.what goal do you want to achieve most?
Afridi: My favourite was watching Imran Khan on tv and got inspired by him and I want to play for Pakistan with honour and leave cricket with honour (izzat) for those who understand Urdu!
Dewan Perera, Australia: What is your opinion of Sanath Jayasuriya, and is he a role model for your cricket, because of his great success in bringing a very attacking style of batting to not just one day , but test cricket as well?
Afridi: He is a world class player and I dont have him as a role model but I got interested in an attacking style watching Saeed Anwar most of all.
KamilGani: Shahid, whom do you rank better Saeed Anwar or Sachin Tendulkar, and why?
Afridi: Both are world class and both have their own class and style. I like them both and are my favourites.
Afridi: Is the test match delayed? (Live comms of the Eng-v-RSA test was due to start on this channel at this time-Ed)
Rick: Yes, the Test has been delayed... it has been raining.
Afridi: I was looking forward to seeing it too here :-((
Akhil Narang: 1. As a bowler, who is the best and toughest batsmen you have faced?
Afridi: I found Brian Lara most difficult and Arvinda DeSilva.
Rick: and the reverse of that question, from the same person: 2. As a batter, who is the best and toughest bowler you have faced?
Afridi: No one was difficult but the good ones are Ambrose, McGrath.
Farhan: Do you think that your team members should teach you how to improve or leave it on your own and you can improve because you place the ball in a funny style?
Afridi: Everyone tries to tell me to play more carefully but I want to concentrate on my own style and with one advisor.
Rick: Do you have one advisor now?
Afridi: Well its a secret :-)
Hammad, Pakistan: I am Hammad from Lahore and I would like to ask Shahid Afridi why he didn't become a medium pacer instead of a spinner, because, he has such a quick quicker ball?
Afridi: At first before I started serious cricket I was a fast bowler.
BaZa: How do you rate the kiwis (New Zealanders) as a team and there batsman?
Afridi: Their batting line and fielding wins some matches for them, they have to develop some good bowlers too.
KamilGani: What is the best innings you have witnessed in ODI cricket?
Afridi: Saeed Anwar against India in Calcutta and Ganguly in the Dhaka final.
Coke: How did it come about - with all the criketers in Pakistan - that you found your way into the Pakistan side?
Afridi: I feel cricket has its luck (qismet) and there are others around who may be as good or are better. I hope they will come up too.
Baz: Would you stand a better chance of being picked for the Pakistan test squad as a batsman or a bowler?
Afridi: I am trying for both aspects and working hard to achieve this goal.
Faisal Butt: Who do u personally feel should be the Pakistani wicketkeeper?
Afridi: I feel Rashid should be the keeper and Moin as a batsman and both are great players.
KamilGani: What are Pakistan's chances in the Sahara Cup Vs India this year?
Afridi: We have a good side and will try to win and as we know India has good performance now days and there will be good cricket there.
Venkat Jagadeeshwara: You had the opportunity of playing against Ajith Agarkar when he toured Pakistan for India-A team.How do you rate him?
Afridi: He is an upcoming good player and I hope he becomes a good allrounder, I feel he needs some bodybuilding (khai piya!) :-)
studLLy: I recall in the world series in Australia when you took the wicket of Brian Lara for a duck after he had scored two consecutive centuries..how did you feel?
Afridi: Our game plan and strategy was to get him out and I was happy I was able to.
KamilGani: How do you rate Mushie Vs Kumble Vs Warne?
Afridi: Mushie is good for tests and Kumble for ODis and Shane is good for both and they are all great bowlers.
Coke: So where do you rate Allan Donald?
Afridi: He is a good bowler for conserving runs but less for taking wickets.
Mvirani786: I just want to ask Shahid Afridi why they dont support Salim Malik to come back in the team? How they can forget all those good innings he played for Pakistan if current players not going to back up Salim Malik tommorow they can face the same thing?
Afridi: This is a question for the Board, I have been at this level a short time and feel that Salim is a great player but its up to the Selectors to decide.
Brian Smith: Are you being coached to move your backfoot more? I've noticed that you basically stand at the crease when you are batting and never move back. Consequently, short pitched deliveries in the ribcage area seem to 'tie you up?
Afridi: This is a good question and correct. I am working on this in practice. Thank you for your observation.
Asif, NZ: Afridi Bhai, who is your best mate in Pakistani team?
Afridi: Saqqi, Fazal-e-Akber.
Rony, USA: Is the camp with Mohsin Khan helping you out somewhat? Do you feel like a better cricketer as the camp progresses?
Afridi: The main problem was physical fitness and as this improves our fielding and overall stamina will be better and that is why we are concertrating on it.
Abhishek, Singapore: What is your current age and when is your birthday?
Afridi: I was born 1 March 1980 and I am now 18 and 3.5 months old.
studLLy: How do you rate the current Pakistani team compared to the one that won the world cup?
Afridi: I was not there in the WCup team but as we are trying and preparing, Inshallah, we will do very well. Please pray for us too.
Rick: The latest from Lord's is that they will be taking an early lunch, having another pitch inspection in about 1hr 20 mins from now.
KamilGani: Have you ever been scared facing a specific bowler specially fast bowler?
Afridi: No no fear, as I said before I try to do my best against the good bowlers.
Akshay: Don't you think if you put more variety in your leg spin, such as the googly or the flipper, it would be great in one day as well as boost your chance in being in the test side as a leg spinner?
Afridi: I am trying to improve the variety of my bowling and trying to learn more and thank you for your advice.
Khalid Ahmed: In Dhaka, Independence Cup, one girl was holding a pamplet, "Shahid Afridi please marry me". You must have seen it. What is your opinion, how your family react to this, and What was the individual opinion in Pakistani Team?
Afridi: My family said when I got home, "where is our bahu! didnt you bring her over? I have no present plans for marriage and I am concentrating on cricket and will do everything according to our family tradition.
Kate: Question - what does it feel like to be arguably the most popular cricketer in Pakistan today?
Afridi: Thank you for your comment, I feel good according to my wish and this, thank God is happening. I feel the shortcoming is lack of privacy, its difficult to go out shopping etc. Its a mixed feeling.
Harley Field: Being a fellow leg-spinner from New Zealand, can you please give me a tip on bowling the quicker ball you bowl. Thank you.
Afridi:Sorry Harley, its a secret but you should try because its my natural ball.
Tony from Atlanta, USA: How do you rate the West Indian fast bowlers (Ambrose, Walsh et.al.) seeing that you have had a degree of success against them?
Afridi: I did say Ambrose is very difficult to get away and Courtney is no different. I do feel they are top bowlers.
Eddy Eshed, Australia: Who do think is the best test cricket team in the world today?
Afridi: I feel RSA, Aus and Pakistan are the best.
Ho Wah Hin, Singapore: You are one of my favourite Pakistani cricketer.I want to ask you, how you feel when you are playing against India, do you feel the extra preassure than when playing against other countries?
Afridi: I dont feel the pressure and enjoy playing cricket against any team and there is no way one can play cricket without enjoying it.
KamilGani: How did you feel when the Pak team lost the match against India in Bangladesh? Don't you think that Pak could have won that match?
Afridi: Yes this was a match we could have won, we had Sachin out too but Gangs and Robin batted very well.
studLLy: Saeed Anwar is a great player. Do you see him in Pakistans future plans? He seems to be getting sick often?
Afridi: He is very fit now and I see a great future for him.
Abhishek: How long do you tend to continue on your career?
Afridi: Till I have the quality to play and am selected.
Mushtaq Ali Tejani: My question is, Shahid would you like to act in Pakistani films?
Afridi: I am not an actor but a cricketer I have no such plans!
Kate: Do you plan to go to university in the future?
Afridi: I am studying in the second year pre engineering at Islamia Science Colleg, Karachi and hope to continue to a full degree.
Farhan: Afridi who do you think will win this World Cup i.e. 1999?
Afridi: I dont want to forecast we will try our best, Inshallah.
Rick: many people have asked the next two questions: Who would be your 5 favourite batsman of all time? and 5 favourite bowlers?
Afridi: My ideal is Imran Khan, and batsmen Saeed Anwar, Sachin, Lara, Mark Waugh, Inzi and bowlers, Wasim Akram, Ambrose, McGrath, Shane, Mushie and Fazal-e-Akber are my favourites.
Afridi: Last question please
Rick: this question is from Coke originally: I guess you are as disappointed as any of us that the test at Lord's has been delayed, but who do you think will win it?
Afridi: I wanted to watch through the internet a test match at Lords and am disappointed. I feel with the delay it may become a draw! :-)
Afridi: I have been asked a question by Farhan, As to whether a legspinner should be given the last over?
Afridi: I want to ask back, is a legspinner not a bowler too?
Rick: OK, Shahid has to return to practice now. I would like to thank Shahid Afridi for spending the time with us today. Apologies to those people whose questions we didn't get to today, there were so many. We had a very large response.
Afridi: Thank you for the questions and I enjoyed it and will be back when you want even in a few days if I am called again. Khuda Hafiz and God Bless everyone.
Rick: Thanks to everyone who contributed to this Suhael for his part in organizing the interview and all our viewers with questions.
Our thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for making this interview possible.
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Date-stamped : 19 Jun1998 - 14:39