Pakistan’s young tearaway quick Shaheen Afridi is looking to return to cricket with a bang. The left-arm fast bowler wants to lead his side’s bowling attack in England as Pakistan embark on a three-match Test series beginning in August.
“We are very hopeful regarding this series. We drew the series in 2016 and then put up great performances in the Champions Trophy. Our track record in England is good and we remain hopeful (of a positive result),” Shaheen Afridi told reporters via videoconference on Wednesday (June 17).
Shaheen Afridi has so far featured in eight Tests and picked up 30 wickets but he aspires to have a glittering career in the longest format, akin to that of former Pakistan greats Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram.
“I have been focusing more on doing well in Test cricket because then only you are regarded as a fine bowler... like Waqar bhai and Wasim bhai. They picked up so many wickets in the Tests. I am also aiming at doing the same and keep on performing for my team,” 20-year-old said.
After the 2019 World Cup, Shaheen Afridi was picked to partner England’s Chris Woakes for Birmingham Phoenix in the inaugural tournament of The Hundred this summer – drafted for a cool £60,000. The tournament though has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shaheen Afridi has featured prominently in Pakistan's Test side recently
Shaheen Afridi has featured in each of Pakistan’s five Test matches played since the conclusion of the World Cup, taking 18 wickets at an average of 25.66, including a maiden five-for against Sri Lanka in Karachi in December.
The young pacer also spoke about the rule changes put forward by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. The use of saliva on cricket balls has been banned, although they will be able to use sweat to shine it.
“Before us, West Indies will be taking on England and we will also keep a close eye on the series as to how they are working with the new rules. We have accepted all the protocols (put forward by the ICC) and will try to devise plans keeping them in mind,” Shaheen Afridi added.