Shahid Afridi ( born Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi born on 1 March 1980) is a Pakistani cricketer. Between 1996 and 2012, Afridi played 27 Tests, 350 One Day Internationals, and 59 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for the Pakistani national team. He made his ODI debut on 2 October 1996 against Kenya and his Test debut on 22 October 1998 against Australia. He is known for his aggressive batting style, and holds the record for the fastest ODI century which he made in his first international innings, as well as scoring 32 runs in a single over, the second highest scoring over ever in an ODI. He also holds the distinction of having hit the most number of sixes in the history of ODI cricket.
Afridi considers himself a better bowler than batsman, and has taken 48 Test wickets and over 350 in ODIs. Currently Afridi is third on the list of leading wicket takers in the Twenty20 format, behind Saeed Ajmal and Umer Gul of Pakistan, taking 62 wickets from 56 matches. Shahid Afridi has signed to play for Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash league. In June 2009, Afridi took over the Twenty20 captaincy from Younus Khan, and was later appointed ODI captain for the 2010 Asia Cup. In his first match as ODI captain against Sri Lanka he scored a century however Pakistan still lost by 16 runs. He then also took over the Test captaincy but resigned after one match in charge citing lack of form and ability to play Test cricket; at the same time he announced his retirement from Tests. He retained the captaincy in limited-overs form of the game and led the team in the 2011 World Cup. In May 2011, having led Pakistan in 34 ODIs, Afridi was replaced as captain. Later that month he announced his conditional retirement from international cricket in protest against his treatment by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). However, in October he reversed his decision. UNICEF and Pakistani authorities have taken Shahid Afridi on board for its anti-polio campaign in the tribal belt of lawless Waziristan region
In October 1996 at the age of sixteen Afridi was drafted into the ODI team during the four-nation Sameer Cup 1996–97 as a leg spinner as a replacement for the injured Mushtaq Ahmed. He made his debut on 2 October against Kenya, however he didn’t bat and went wicketless. In the next match against Sri Lanka, Afridi batted at number three in the role of a pinch-hitter. In his first international innings, Afridi broke the record for fastest century in ODI cricket, reaching his hundred from 37 balls. The eleven sixes he struck also equalled the record for most in an ODI innings.[nb 1] Aged 16 years and 217 days, Afridi became the youngest player to score an ODI century. Pakistan posted a total of 371, at the time the second-highest in ODIs, and won by 82 runs; Afridi was named man of the match.
Two years after appearing on the international scene, Afridi made his Test debut in the third game of a three-match series against Australia on 22 October 1998. By this point he had already played 66 ODIs, at the time a record before playing Tests. He opened the batting, making scores of 10 and 6, and took five wickets in the first innings. He played his second Test the following January during Pakistan’s tour of India; it was the first Test between the two countries since 1990. Again opening the batting, Afridi scored his maiden Test century, scoring 141 runs from 191 balls. In the same match he also claimed three wickets for 54 runs. After winning the first match by 12 runs, Pakistan lost the second to draw the series.
In 2001, Afridi signed a contract to represent Leicestershire. In five first-class matches he scored 295 runs at an average of 42.14, including a highest score of 164, and took 11 wickets at an average of 46.45; Afridi also played 11 one day matches for the club, scoring 481 runs at an average of 40.08 and taking 18 wickets at 24.04. His highest score of 95 came from 58 balls in a semi-final of the C&G Trophy to help Leicestershire beat Lancashire by seven wickets. Derbyshire County Cricket Club signed Afridi to play for them in the first two months of the 2003 English cricket season. In June 2004 Afridi signed with English county side Kent to play for them in three Twenty20 matches and one Totesport League match.
Afridi made his presence felt in the third Test against India in March 2005, scoring a quick-fire second-innings half-century and taking five wickets in the match (including Tendulkar twice) to help Pakistan to win the game and register a series draw. In April Afridi struck what at the time was the equal second-fastest century in ODIs; he reached 100 off 45 deliveries against India, sharing the record with West Indian Brian Lara. Afridi was more consistent with his batting and bowling throughout 2005, starting with the tours of India and West Indies and through to the England tour. The Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer helped Afridi to reach a fuller potential by improving his shot selection and giving him free rein over his batting attitude..