Shahid Afridi is widely regarded as one of the best all-rounders produced by Pakistan, especially in the white-ball formats.
Afridi represented Pakistan in 398 ODIs, scoring 8064 runs and claiming 395 wickets. He also owned the record for the fastest century in ODIs for over 17 years when he slammed a 37-ball ton against Sri Lanka in 1996.
In T20Is, Afridi scored 1416 runs and took 98 scalps from 99 matches. He also played an instrumental role in Pakistan’s 2009 T20 World Cup triumph.
However, Shahid Afridi's career also saw a fair bit of controversies. He was once banned for one Test and two ODIs over the charges of pitch tampering. The incident had happened in 2005 when he damaged the pitch with his boots during a game against England in Faisalabad.
17 years later, the former Pakistan skipper has now recalled the controversy, revealing the turn of events that led to him damaging the pitch.
“It was a good series. That Test was in Faislabad. Believe me, it was a Test and the ball was neither turning, nor it was getting any swing or seam. It was getting quite boring. I was applying my full force and nothing was happening. Then suddenly, a gas cylinder exploded and eveyone got distracted. I told Malik, 'Mera dil chaah raha hai main idhar patch bana du. Ball toh turn ho!' (I want to create a patch on this pitch so badly. I want the ball to turn!),” Afridi said on Samaa TV.
“Shoaib Malik replied, 'Kar de. Koi nai dekh raha' (Do it, no one is watching). So I did that! And then, what happened is history. When I look back at it, you do realise it was a mistake,” he added.
While Shahid Afridi called time on his international cricket career in 2018, Shoaib Malik still remains an active white-ball cricketer. He, however, isn’t getting picked in the Pakistan team lately. Malik’s last international appearance was a T20I match against Bangladesh in November 2021.