Dubai : Shahid Afridi, the hero of UAE fans, produced one of the most stunning catches in Karachi Kings’ 19 runs victory over Quetta Gladiators on Friday.
How could Afridi, who is just five days away from celebrating his 38th birthday, pull off such a stunning running catch near the boundary line? His presence of mind to throw up the ball to avoid running away with the ball over the boundary surprised everyone. What's more, he had the reflex to regain his balance and complete the catch to dismiss Umar Amin.
Afridi was hailed by one and all for the spectacular catch but there is a tale behind this catch. When Afridi was asked to comment on it, he candidly said: “These days, I try to hide myself on the field but Babar (Azam) told me this time to field in the deep. It worked well.”
One of Afridi’s obsessions is to entertain fans through his style of cricket. Be it batting or bowling and fielding, he likes to do something which people will enjoy. Incidentally, Amin’s catch that he took was his 75th catch in a T20 match.
“Fielding is an art, you have to enjoy it. If you don't, you will be found out. You have to be ready all the time,” said Afridi. A placard from the crowd said: "Supporting Karachi Only for Afridi Boom Boom".
Imad Wasim, the skipper of the Karachi Kings team could not believe that such a catch was possible. “The catch was the game changer. Frankly I was not expecting it,” said Wasim, who believes that Afridi’s presence on and off the field is very inspiring.
“Shahid is a legend of the game. He is a superstar. We are all thrilled by his presence. On and off the field he is a fighter. I believe he is an asset to the game,” added Wasim.
An ardent Afridi fan in the crowd said: “Afridi is an ageless cricketer. I don’t think anyone can take such a catch 22 years after his international cricket debut and after having retired from international cricket two years ago.”
Speaking to Gulf News recently, Afridi had said: “I have played some good knocks and produced some good bowling and people have always supported me here.”
The comments that followed after Afridi’s catch on Twitter and from fans around the ground were interesting. “It was a super catch by a superman,” remarked one while another said: “Though this catch, Afridi has become the King of Karachi.”