© Provided by Khaleej Times Pakistan has a new Afridi, and he is already going 'boom, boom'
Pakistan boasts of having produced some of the top quickies in cricket and 17-year-old Shaheen Shah Afridi could soon join the elite club.
Shaheen's sensational bowling - captured in a video - has taken the cricket world by storm. As the video catches on, it has come to the fore that the pacer has signed a two-year contract with Dhaka Dynamites in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
On September 27, the speedster scripted a new record for Pakistan when he took eight wickets in the second innings of a first-class cricket match.
Shaeen was making his debut for Khan Research Laboratory against Rawalpindi in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. His incredible bowling figures stood at: eight for 39 from 15 overs. In doing so, he shattered a 43-year old record held by Nadeem Malik who bagged 8 for 58 for Lahore on his debut in 1973-74.
Hailing from Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA ), Shaheen bowling action is quite similar to that of Mitchell Starc, the Australian fast bowler. He is the younger brother of Riaz Afridi, who played one Test for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in Karachi.
"I owe it to my elder brother," Shaheen was quoted as saying in AryNews.TV website. "I was born and raised in Landi Kotal, Khyber Agency of FATA. I was very fortunate that Riaz bhai played for Pakistan and I did not face much problems or resistance in choosing cricket as my career. He was a great inspiration for me and helped me learn the basics of bowling. He would take me to the ground and told me to play with a tape ball. His contribution is great."
He also attributes his success to coach Rashid Khan.
"It's amazing. It was definitely a dream start but I want to do better for my country. It has only pushed me in my resolve to do more, keep myself fit and listen attentively to my coaches and mentors. I want to wear the green shirt and follow the legacy of great fast bowlers that Pakistan has produced. I truly want to serve my country through this art of bowling," an elated Shaheen said.
On getting an opportunity to play with Dhaka Dynamites in BPL, Shaheen was quoted as saying, "I am happy that I will be playing with the best of the cricket worlds in the Dhaka Dynamites family such as Shahid Afridi, Kumar Sangakkara, Shakib al Hasan, Shane Watson, Sunil Narine, etc. This will bring more maturity to my game."
The youngster puts Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis on a high pedestal.
"Like any other genuine fast bowler, my inspirations are the great Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram. They used to rip through batting line-ups with their toe-crushing yorkers and out of the world swing. I wish I can follow their footsteps."
With the right approach and direction, sky is the limit for the young man. We wish him luck.
Here's the video of Shaheen's bowling spell:
17 year old Shaheen Shah Afridi's 8 wickets on his first class debut for KRL against Rawalpindi.