World famous Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi, who had announced retirement from international cricket earlier in May this year, has now reversed his decision announcing his availability for the One Day Internationals (ODIs).
A 31-year-old all-rounder, Mr Afridi, who has to his credit the world record for the fastest century off 37 balls, had quit the international cricket as a protest against Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials, including its chairman Mr Ijaz Butt.
Mr Butt’s three-year tenure as PCB chief ended recently on October 8 and now the board has its new chairman Mr Zaka Ashraf.
According to The Express Tribune newspaper, Afridi told reporters about his comeback on Tuesday:
Since the board chairman has changed, I take back my retirement decision and am available to play for Pakistan. I had said I will never play with Butt as chairman, so things have changed now.
A recent article in Dawn newspaper says about Shahid Afridi:
In ODIs, his captaincy record includes series wins in West Indies and New Zealand, tightly-fought series against South Africa and England, and a semi-final finish in the 2011 World Cup. His leadership during the World Cup was especially remarkable because he took his team so far despite abysmal batting, amateur fielding, scandal fatigue, and shattered morale. No Pakistani has won more man-of-the-match awards in limited-overs cricket (ODIs and T20 combined) than this man.
Afridi is popularly known as ‘Boom Boom Afridi’ among his fans and the news of his comeback is widely welcomed in Pakistan as well as among cricket-lovers around the world.
According to the world’s leading cricket website, ESPNcricinfo, Shahid Afridi has 325 ODIs to his credit with 6695 runs (with highest scores 124) as a batsman, 315 wickets as a bowler (with Best Bowling Index-BBI of 6 wickets for 38 balls). A comment on this very website about the latest news of Afridi’s comeback says: “We’ve been waiting Afridi. Hope you still got some boom boom left in you.”