Video of Shahid Afridi’s 32 from 18

One in four people coming to this blog do so to find Shahid Afridi information. What makes this all the more unsettling is that I hardly ever mention the big winner but, to satisfy those of you who hunger for his news, here’s a video:

A champion winner if ever there was one.

Assalam Valekum

The single most popular search term for people arriving here from Google is Shahid Afridi. It astounds me how one person can prove so popular to so many. I'm deluged with comments, usually starting with "Dear Afridi" but today's spam (and I'm sorry if I consider them spam) reads as follows:

dear afridi,
first of all “Assalam Valekum” “Adaab” to you.
i am a girl.i …. you a lot and i will continue to ….
you forever.you look so so so handsome that i am crazy about you.you are my king,my hero !!!do not mind for what i have said.but its true that i …….

Can anyone enlighten me as to the meaning of Assalam Valekum and Adaab?

Plunkett joins the list

So Liam Plunkett’s dead and buried. And Shahid Afridi isn’t looking too good for Pakistan either. What the hell’s going on? Is this a result of too much cricket? Is it that the games are too tightly-packed? Are the medics and physios undertrained and useless? Are today’s players too reliant on the medics unlike Fred Trueman who would just bowl and bowl and bowl? Something is going very wrong, at some level, for so many players to be falling over the whole time. And while England are leading the way, other countries are not far behind.

I don’t understand it.

England v Pakistan, 1st Test, Lord’s, 4th day

So then. Pakistan trail by just 119 runs, with Mohammad Yousuf unbeaten on 185…and one Shahid Afridi is also there. Keep an eye on the scorecard, and chat away with any comments. This could go either way.

Sachin Tendulkar’s 50 at The Oval

Tendulkar hit 50 against Pakistan tonight but Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-Haq powered Pakistan to victory. It was a (wet) charity game at (a very gloomy) The Oval. They raised £250,000. Stuck a brief report up at Cricinfo including photos.

The Pakistan tour of England, 2006

Earlier this summer, as England were apparently unable to beat Sri Lanka as easily as they would’ve liked, I described their opponents as “cockroach-like”. It was intended as a compliment, for their ability to hang on by the skins of their teeth. In retrospect, it was a mistake and was altered immediately. The fact is, I – and England, and the public – underestimated the side who were considered nothing more than an hors d’oeuvres before the Pakistan pie (sorry, couldn’t resist).

And look at them now. The one-day team is in disarray; Fletcher’s blaming injuries (quite fairly so, I might add); our Ashes plans are in meltdown (burnout might be a more appropriate adjective to use come November, though); half the squad are missing injured (career-endingly so and “he’ll be back next week” in equal measure, if the ECB are to be trusted). And now Pakistan are in town.

Their apparent weak-spot at the top of the order showed little sign of fragility today, too. Imran Farhat and Salman Butt, the two openers, put on 145 for the first wicket on the second day of their three-day warm-up match against Leicestershire. When the first Test gets underway (July 13), behind those two sit a frightening array of batting talent: Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal.

So forget the Ashes. Forget anything else. Wistful longing for a repeat of Edgbaston 2005 will get you nowhere. This Pakistan side are a tremendous force, superbly coached and (dare I say it?) captained with enthusiastic vigour by the bearded mountain himself. I’m tempted to say England are in trouble – but that’d be stating the bleeding obvious.

Marks on Woolmer in Pakistan

Morning everyone!

Not much in the UK papers, though Vic Marks writes a good profile of Bob Woolmer’s adventures in Pakistan. For me the really interesting thing is that he’s getting Shahid Afridi to start to deliver on a consistent basis. The guy is a lot like Andrew Symonds, a remarkable talent, but not properly focussed. Until now, anyway.

Shahid Afridi Shahid Afridi Shahid Afridi

The last few weeks have seen thousands of people arrive here looking for information on Shahid Afridi. Indeed, some of them have even asked me for his phone number. So let me just settle this once and for all; I have no cricketer’s phone numbers. And certainly not Mr Afridi’s. Nor do I have their addresses, or know if they’ll want to shag/marry you.

But please, carry on and read the blog.

Shahid Afridi’s hundred v India

Just seen this on ceefax. Pakistan have declared on 679 for 7 with Afridi, 103, hitting 27 from one over. Freak!