The Ball Biting incident by Shahid Afridi has given an opportunity to his haters and the lobby that is against him, to ouster him from the team, ban him, punish him further. He has already been punished with a ban of two matches so, he cannot be punished twice for the same offense. With Malik coming back into the limelight once again the Pakistan cricket team is back to the crossroads of disasters. The team already suffered a lot when Shoaib Malik was the captain. He played everything BUT cricket. There is not a shadow of doubt that he is a negative influence in the team, he is not a team maker but, a team breaker. He plays dirty politics by creating groups, enticing and luring them to deliberately under perform and lose the matches to settle personal scores through vendetta. Leave aside giving him the mantle to lead, he should not be in the team.
The proverbial expression “once bitten twice shy” does not exist in the PCB rule book, especially if the player is from Karachi. No matter what Malik or other players do to damage the game of cricket in Pakistan, the PCB not only gives a blind eye and a deaf ear but, it gives them the license to kill. Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Misbah ul Haq are a disgrace to the nation for being for their deliberate attempts to lose a match only to settle personal scores, this is the worst thing a player can do for the country.
It is so demeaning and lacking in self-esteem, self-worth, or effectiveness of the spirit of the game. They lowered the quality of their character by debasing and adulterating their vindictive motives which are so sinister and venomous that I would call it the character analysis and yet they try to show to the world that they are innocent, honest, loyal to the country.
Au contraire to these thugs, Shahid Afridi has been an enigma; a blunt and straightforward Pathan who is a world-record breaking batsman, a gritty leg-spinner, a spectacular fielder, a thoroughbred and a complete cricketer who brings about the essence of coveted eccentricity to cricket, exuding relentless charm and often falling foul of the spirit of the game, and also preoccupying uncertainty. Sports journalists and critics have described him as, “a bash boy, an aggressor, erratic yet dependable.” If he fails in one department, he compensates in the other by his multitasking talents.
The Afridi tribe is known for attitude, arrogance, temper, anger and ruthlessness. There is an expression that, ” The French courage proceeds from vanity—the German from phlegm—the Turkish from fanaticism & opium—the Spanish from pride—the English from coolness—the Dutch from obstinacy—the Russian from insensibility—but the Pathans from anger.” It is the temper, the anger and the madness that he has often expressed it so bluntly and so forceful with his bat that, he makes the ball disappear miles away into the crowd. Sometimes, it is the self belief to win a match ended in self-delusion when he literally and actually chewed the ball.
People describe him as an ideal cricketer whose psyche is imbued of youthfulness and exuberance not only for his countrymen but internationally he is so popular because of his aggressive batting, bowling fielding and leadership. He has had skirmishes with madness and indiscipline not just by biting the ball like a dimmed-wit dolt in the presence of 26 cameras and in the past he executed a pirouette on the pitch as if he was a ballet dancer or giving a short performance on the ice?
They say Afridi is an enigma right from the time he started his career till today. In the recent past he matured enough as a player who could lead the team better than anyone else from the current lot. But, the media, lead by no other than the Daily DAWN newspaper of Pakistan created the hoopla and then the two Wasims (Bari and Akram) have brewed the conspiracies with their sinister motives they have managed to cook the perfect recipe which is so full of regional discrimination and doctrinal perversion and it is getting pejorative to the game of cricket in Pakistan.
Captaincy isn’t about field work but the only prerequisite is an inquiring mind. A formidable, highly respected man is required amongst his pupil, having the charisma, the character, self-discipline, an unflinching presence, an impeccable track record and a man with the ability to engage, from time to time in serious discussions with the players, management and administration. The million dollar question is: “Is Afridi fully equipped with all these attributes?” The truth is, there is no one in the team who has any of these qualities and attributes.
And, it is also the truth that, Afridi faultered and he has often been vulnerable to such ‘indiscreet & indecent’ acts. I would like to say here that, despite all his shortcomings and the sudden madness that gushes through his blood, that is taking away the sheen and the gloss from the charismatic individual, there is no one else but him, who could still be named as captain of team Pakistan for the forth coming T20 WC.
Someone has said:, “the ringing bowling changes, igniting a free-spirit, even being able to unite the star-cast with his unquestionable ability to manipulate situations but at the end of the day, with such a rugged and ‘controversial’ past and with his incessant streaks of unpredictability, he might never become a ‘leader’. Here in a situation where player power and other such nemesis stare in anyone captaining Pakistan, he could also stumble and fritter not only his own position in the team but injuring country’s future hopes to get back to the successful highways and byways.”
And, to some critiques, “the supposed impracticality of Afridi’s underscored talent was reason enough to disregard or denigrate him on the list of successful cricketers and to some his decision not to play in Tests was actually his plan to avoid over-exposure in five-day games. He didn’t want to fritter opportunities by the crevices in his technique being highlighted in real battles; he wanted to secure his place on the one-day teams, where he could confidently and belligerently mask his technical frailties and also could stamp himself as a crowd-puller, a blazing superstar. Afridi as a man being asked to rebuild, not only the team but its mottled and flecked image. Afridi could be a cricket captain, but he can’t be a leader, come what may?”