Shahdi Afridi retired from all forms of cricket last Friday. And while nobody can deny that the explosive batsmen and right arm legspinner is one of Pakistan’s biggest pop-culture icons, Lala has always left the entire nation with mixed memories and emotions. So before the volatile former captain does an Altaf bhai, here are 5 times Shahid Afridi made you love him and the 5 times he made you hate him.
T20 World Cup final (2009)
Afridi’s blistering innings in the final of the 2009 T20 world cup singlehandedly drove Pakistan to victory, and to what is only their second world title in their long cricketing history.
T20 World Cup final (2007)
Afridi walking back for a first ball duck is an image we’ve all seen far too many times. But in a world cup final? That too against India? Somehow, the stakes just seemed way higher than they did when Pakistan played Sri Lanka in the 2009 World cup.
Batting vs India in the Asia Cup (2014)
Every Pakistan cricket team fan just knows this innings because it ended with those 2 sixes that Lala hit to take Pakistan home in their crucial Asia cup match against India.
Batting vs India in the World Cup (2011)
Everybody knows Afridi’s batting is a matter of luck, but we just can’t seem to accept that. Every time he steps down to bat you just expect something magical to happen. But it isn’t very magical as Afridi walks away in this picture after sending one down Sehwag’s throat in Pakistan and India’s hotly contested 2011 World Cup semi-final match after scoring a confused 19 of 25.
Batting against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup (2014)
As traumatic an experience as it must have been for the Bangladeshis, Afridi snatching victory from the mouth of Bangladesh in their Asia cup encounter and making the Bangladeshi fans cry was an image that made us feel warm things in our heart for Afridi.
Captaining Pakistan against Bangladesh in Bangladesh (2015)
Bangladesh is often written off even before a game starts due to their status as a developing team. So Afridi promoting himself to bat at number 3 only to be dismissed for 12 from 10 in a match that Pakistan would lose is one of the moments Lala made our blood boil with anger at his antics.
All the times he showed some love to his opponents.
The fiery encounter between Afridi and Kallis in the 2009 T20 World cup semi-final was shooting out sparks from the word go. And while Afridi managed to smash the last four balls to the boundary after Kallis sent him two bouncers on the first two, Afridi’s little message to the South African was priceless!
When he confused a ball for an apple
And we hated him all the times he was less than fair during a game of cricket. Especially that time he got hungry leading Pakistan against Australia in an ODI fixture.
Every time Lala hit it out of the park
That 158 meter six has been argued to be the longest in the history of the game and it has just been imprinted on our hearts forever!
Every time he did something like this:
He has been doing it for a long time (since the beginning of his career really) and he kept it up the entire time.