Abu Dhabi: Pakistan’s legendary all-rounder Shahid Afridi has valid reasons as to why he chose not to reveal his actual age before and only decided to put it down in his recently published autobiography ‘Game Changer’ that he was actually born in 1975, not in 1980.
However, to know that one has to wait until the official book launch that is scheduled to be held in Karachi on Saturday.
Afridi wasn’t actually 16 when he smashed a record-breaking 37-ball century and was older than the records suggested.
“I was just 19, and not 16 like they claim,” Afridi wrote in his autobiography. “I was born in 1975. So yes, the authorities stated my age incorrectly.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the Happiness Sim Cricket Sixes held by Abu Dhabi Cricket Club at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Afridi — who is the brand ambassador for the event along with Australian pace legend Brett Lee, said: “I will definitely tell why I made that decision to tell that now. My book launch is tomorrow and you all will know the reason soon.”
Having already retired, there aren’t many repercussions expected but it will be a big blot in the legend’s illustrious career and a bit of an embarrassment for the Pakistan Cricket Board as well.
It could also be a perfect marketing gimmick by him to draw people’s attention towards the book. Whatever the reason, it is now clear that he was not 16 when he struck the famous 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in 1996 — two days after his debut against Kenya.
Now this also means that Afridi will no longer be the youngest batsman to score a century in ODI cricket. He will lose the record to Afghanistan’s Usman Ghani, who scored an ODI century against Zimbabwe in 2014 at the age of 17. South Africa’s AB de Villiers holds the record of the fastest ODI hundred now.
Saturday’s book launch will certainly draw a lot of media attention and the Pakistan star, who holds the record for most sixes in ODI history (351), will have a lot of answering to do.