Ever since I was a kid, I’ve seen a 25-year-old Pakistani Cricketer.
As an Indian, a Pakistani Cricketer is the thing of hate. But, not Lala.
The most endearing image of ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi, is do precisely his nickname suggests.
Afridi is a man one Army alright. But, we all are left to wonder if he is fighting the opposing team or is he being a double agent.
His Batting record suggests something even a trained Monkey can attain.
Afridi’s batting average is so low that even Dinesh Mongia has a better batting average!
Shahid Afridi’s overall Batting Record:
Dinesh Mongia’s overall batting record:
But, Dinesh Mongia did not get to play even 1/4th of the matches that Afridi has. Nobody even remembers his name!
What is the mystery here? Why is this great Cricketer liked and loved in Pakistan? Why is he allowed to play, time after time, failure after repeated failure?
It must be his bowling.
On the spin friendly tracks of the Sub-Continent, the great spinner of the ball, the wannabe spinster ought to have great records, I thought.
No, I must be wrong.. but can’t figure out where I am wrong.
Surely, something must be off. How can one man not bat, not bowl on tracks that suit his style of bowling; and still be around for 15 years? Or, is it been 20? 25? One can never tell..
Sure as hell, Pakistan and Pakistanis have thought it best to allow him to play for 372 (Exclamation.. Double Exclamation.. Triple) ODIs.
What is the big secret?
Afridi is a master strategist! When the going gets tough, the Afridis start eating the ball.
I always give benefit out the doubt to Shahid Afridi. Not because I like him like him, but because, come on, how can a guy who blatantly cheats and still be in the team, not be liked? I support Afridi.. because I am jealous!
I give him the benefit of the doubt. Hey! If in dim light, after a LOT of Al-ca-gal has gone in, after putting tapanguchi for 2 hours, when I’m hungry as hell, I am bound to mistake a white Cricket ball, to a red juicy Apple.
Have I eaten a Cricket ball before? Sadly, no. That’s because I’m not a professional Cricketer. I’m sure most of the people who play Cricket on a regular basis have.
Are you telling having a Cricket ball around you all the time, in the sun and in the scorching heat, a professional Cricketer is not tempted a least bit to eat it?
Puh.. leeez! Lolz..
Afridi never cheats! Even after going for so many runs, after Pakistan is on the verge of defeat, snatched from the claws of win, by none other than (most frequently), by Afridi himself, Afridi never ever cheats.
But, this incidents casts serious shadow over my hero Shahid Afridi.
Most people battle drugs, alcohol, nicotine addiction, but Shahid Afridi is different to other mortals. He battles the..
OK, I’m going to straight away ignore that and claim that never happened. I’m going into denial mode. Starting NOW!
Some guy who looks like Afridi is destroying the pitch. And, some guy who looks eerily like Kevin Peterson is mocking the great Lala. How can this be true? Unpossible.
All I remember and know is : people aim to emulate Afridi, especially English Cricketers!
See, even the great All-Rounder, who bowls as fast as Afridi, who bats as explosively as Afridi, is trying to Ape(pun unintended) the great man.
I digress badly.
What makes Afridi click? His Batting? Unfortunately no. Bowling? Close, but.. No.. He is known as Boom Boom, not Bomb Bomb!
If he were called ‘Bomb Bomb’, he would have become the poster-boy for the Taliban. The Taliban spokesperson, nevertheless, tried to use his Boom Boom image to their benefit, but reports suggest he was not that successful. But, I think that’s untrue.
The Taliban did try to use this particular image of Afridi; and, Shahid Afridi’s nickname of ‘Boom Boom’ to claim him as their own.
Did they succeed?
Ask yourself – Are Taliban popular in Pakistan? Are Pakistani Politicians like Imran Khan, a great Cricketer himself(A nothing compared to the Lala of course), bending over backwards to appease them?
Surprise surprise, Imran Khan’s party won a LOT of seats and a majority in a Pakistani province.
Talking about Imran Khan, there are may similarities between Shahid Afridi and him. Both are very handsome, very popular cricketers in Pakistan, I hear. They both are loved; and women(and men) go gaga over them both in Pakistan, I’m sure.
But, when it comes to Cricket, the starting point of their fame, they both have contrasting records. Khan has excellent Batting and Bowling records. He has won Pakistan the World Cup as Captain, nurtured terrifying fast bowlers and has a reputation of being a never-say-die Captain.
Afridi is none of that. Not even close.
But, he has one thing in common with Mr. Imran Khan.
I am beginning to now think Pakistanis love Shahid Afridi for being, well.. good looking?
“..when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,however improbable, must be the truth?”
– Sherlock Holmes
Even men? Not many women watch Cricket in Pakistan, like in India, I’m sure. You don’t see women do this when Shahid Afridi is batting!
And, it is men who make movies on the phenomena named Shahid Afridi.
Even thought India produces hundreds of movies per year, it hasn’t sought fit to make one on the life of Tendulkar. Tendulkars may come and go Afridis persist. Heck! They don’t age, don’t get dropped, don’t score runs, don’t take wickets.
Pakistanis have already immortalised the great Shahid Afridi, even before he has retired. Oh, wait.. He has retired from Cricket many times.. But, has always managed to make a come back. A great lesson indeed to all the English Cricketers who are retiring at the drop of a hat nowadays.
They should strive to be more like Shahid Afridi.
Enough said – Pakistanis, mostly men, love Shahid Afridi. They love his long locks, they love his beard, they love the way he walks, they love the way he runs in to bowl, the way he gets out(silly him, giving a catch to silly point), the way he calls us Indians “small hearted”. All is forgiven by the Men of Pakistan – they forgive his abysmal cricketing record, his ball-eating antics, his blatant pitch tampering, his constant shooting off his mouth.
For a nation which hates Homosexuality, considers it a Sin – an act so unforgivable, that even God will not forgive; which is punishable by death; its pretty ironic that they have a collective, strong crush on a Man.
Since, Homosexuality is a taboo in Pakistan; legally, socially and religiously condemned, cricket appears to a convenient excuse for the secret fantasies of an extremely homophobic nation.
While Pakistanis asks the Homosexuals to do this..
..but secretly, they are seeing this.
For Pakistanis, the very embodiment of male sexuality and good looks is Shahid Afridi.
Forget that he is dumb as a dodo Monkey.
All Pakistanis care about are looks. At least with Imran Khan, they had the excuse of his brilliance. He was an able all-rounder, who spoke well, was a great captain. The homophobic tendencies of the entire nation was masked behind the facade of Imran Khan’s good cricketing skills.
Shahid Afridi is none of that.
The Homosexual Crush of the entire Homophobic Pakistani Islamic Republic nation now stands terribly exposed..