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August 26, 2019
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Curtain down on flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi’s 19-year career

ISLAMABAD: The defeat to  Australia in World Cup 2015 quarter final by Pakistan brought down curtain on 19-year career of superstar allrounder Shahid Afridi on Friday.   

The crashing of Pakistan out of World Cup also dashed the hopes of flamboyant allrounder to bid farewell to One-Day career with a World Cup triumph.

The 35-year-old quit the 50-overs game with the World Cup quarter final. Afridi appeared in fifth World Cup.

“I want to do what the team demands,” Afridi had said a day earlier of the quarter final match against Australia.

The last World Cup of the allrounder career proved not much memorable, as he failed both with bat and ball. In six matches, the all rounder claimed only two wickets, falling five wicket short of 400 wicket in his ODI career.

He also failed with the bat, scoring just over 100 in five innings of six matches.

Had he claimed five more wicket, he would have been the only player in all one-day cricket to have scored 8 000 runs and taken 400 wickets.

In an interview,  Afridi said he wants to see younger players coming through to take his place in the team once his career ends.

“I have not thought about anything other than calling it a day because I think new players should come to the fore, players who have done well at the domestic level and will carry Pakistan cricket forward,” said Afridi, whose career famously began with the fastest hundred in one-day cricket.

Playing only his second game, Afridi hit a 37-ball hundred – then a world record – against Sri Lanka in Nairobi, Kenya in 1996.

That record was broken by New Zealand’s Corey Anderson with a 36-ball hundred in 2014 before it was bettered again by South Africa’s AB de Villiers who hit a 31-ball century against the West Indies in January this year.

Afridi admitted his career has had its share of ups and downs but has been highly enjoyable.

“Playing for 19 years is more than enough. Like any other career it had bad and good times but I played for Pakistan for such a long time which I had never thought would happen,” he said.

“Playing five World Cups is a big thing. You perform and you don’t perform, you come under pressure because there are a lot of people who expect a lot from you. That has been part of my career but it has been highly enjoyable.”