Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi after a training session for Lahore Qalandars at the ICC Academy in Dubai. Image Credit: K.R. Nayar/Gulf News

Dubai: Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan‘s rising pacer who has taken giant strides in his career over the past year, wants to excel for Lahore Qalandars team under the watchful eyes of their coach Aaqib Javed in the upcoming edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Soft-spoken with a shy smile, the strapping Afridi transforms himself into a destructive pacer when given a ball and has made even the best of batsmen struggle against him in his brief international career. He is now known as the ‘Mitchell Starc of Pakistan’ and seems to be enjoying this new tag.

Thanking the PSL for providing him the platform, the six-feet-five inch tall bowler said: “I had played a few first class games before the third edition of the PSL and was very lucky that Lahore picked me in their team. I took five wickets against Multan Sultans and that caught selectors eyes and coach Mickey Arthur (who is also Pakistan team coach). Now I am lucky that I am playing in all three formats for Pakistan and geared up for PSL 4. I will do my best for the team.”

So fierce is Afridi’s sense of commitment that it was revealed he once offered to return all the money Qalandars management invested on him as he felt he did not perform to expectations.

Afridi is often asked if he is related to iconic all-rounder Shahid Afridi and patiently explains: “Afridis are a clan of Pathans, that is where the name comes from. We have many same traits.”

In the last edition of the PSL, Afridi bowled Shahid Afridi — who played for Karachi Kings. Afridi, who considers Shahid as his hero, refrained from celebrating on getting his wicket as a sign of respect to the legend.

Image Credit: Gulf News