Shahid Afridi is the most popular cricketer of the young generation and most loved these days. There is a movie coming out soon based on his life called ‘Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’. Shahid Afridi is popular with both young and old alike. Read the exclusive interview to know what Shahid Afridi is really like.
Q: Shahid your aggressive play wins the hearts of millions. Many do prayers for you to not get out early but your inconsistency worries people. What’s the reason behind this early exit of yours?
A: (with smile) People love my game. (In serious mood) In cricket now-a-days, every team has players like Astle, Jayasuriya, Sehwag etc. who give a good start to the team and release the pressure from the middle order, who betray bowler to bowl on a perfect line. When such players are to explode they can win you tight matches.
Q: So, this is decided that you’ll not change your style of playing?
A: If I had to change my style I would have done it 7 years ago. I don’t want to change my game. Earlier, coaches told me-”Don’t play like this, play like this.” But Bob has left me in my own style but he says-”be selective, don’t hit every ball for six. The ball which you feel can go for a six take chance on that only.”
Q: Have you ever thought if you leave cricket, what would you do?
A: Moin once said a very beautiful thing-”When you are planning, Allah laughs at you, that I am the one who has to run the world but all these people are making plans.” My thinking is I don’t make plans at all, what ever is in destiny will happen.
Q: What’s your date of birth and Zodiac?
A: March 1, 1980. Zodiac- Pisces. But I don’t believe in such kind of things.
Q: Shahid how old were you when you first held a bat?
A: (with smile) 7-8 years.
Q: Which cricketer inspired you then?
A: Seeing Imran Khan on T.V., I always thought that there are millions of fans of this one man, he has gained a lot of respect in the world and wished that I should also have the same kind of respect and then I was so much into cricket that I always thought and played it.
Q: Were your family members with you in your decision to be a cricketer?
A: Walid Sahab (Father) was against it. Our family was mainly into business or Army. No one could even think of it. My uncle Major Afridi first started cricket in our family, than my brother Tariq and I. I have many times been beated because of cricket.
Q: Were you were Beaten because of cricket?
A: (With smile) Abba (Father) had a special stick; he used it whenever we did any wrongs. I was the target because I used to play cricket all day- night and didn’t give any importance to studies, all this made him angry. Allah has given fruit to all my pains. Now dad loves cricket much more than he hated it earlier.
Q: Didn’t any one in your house praise your cricket?
A: Elder brothers supported a lot. Apart from them, Haroon and Mahmood Rasheed who lived in our neighborhood also supported a lot. They also hold an important place in making of Shahid Afridi a cricketer.
Q: Which school did you study?
A: Earlier I used to study in Federal Secondary; there I was a good student. When I started playing cricket, study became a secondary thing, so than I shifted to Government School. I studied from Ibrahim Bhai for 2-3 years.
Q: Were you notorious?
A: Yes, I was very naughty.
Q: Did any kind of complaints of fighting with other boys ever come to your parents?
A: Yes, complaints came but most of them were he broke the glasses of are cars and windows.
Q: What other games do you play besides cricket?
A: I’m very much passionate about swimming. Table Tennis, Badminton. I liked all games.
Q: Which were the subjects you liked?
A: Maths and Islam
Q: What was the view of your teachers about your game?
A: They cared for me. If in case I had not done my home work they used to spare me because my game was very famous. I played “Inter Karachi Championship” when I was in 5th standard.
Q: Have you ever visited your school after becoming a famous cricketer?
A: Yes, I have been to both of my schools. Met all my teachers and they all seemed very happy.
Q: From where you did your graduation?
A: I did my graduation from “Islamia Science College.” I even took admission in NAD (Engineering College) but could not continue studies because of cricket.
Q: When your father approved you as a good cricketer?
A: I was in Pakistan under-19 for the tour of West Indies. Before that also I did perform well. Articles were also printed about me in newspapers so he also thought that I can be a good cricketer.
Q: You have endorsed many products. How do you feel while facing camera?
A: It’s a difficult task, but I feel if any player gets this opportunity he should take it.
Q: In which commercial do you feel you are presented most gracefully?
A: Everyone says all the commercials done till date are good.
Q: If I’m not wrong you were also offered acting in India?
A: Yes, in 1998-99 a director from India offered me a movie through Wasim Bhai, then I said to him -” you want my family to throw me out of the house.”
Q: Do you watch T.V.? What kind of programs you like to watch?
A: Sometimes, I see Cartoon Network with kids or Discovery channel.
Q: Do you see videos of your game?
A: I only see good ones because they are great confidence builders.
Q: Do you prefer to take family on tours?
A: I think it’s not good to take family on tours because you are tired playing, and if you have kids you cannot even have a sound sleep. I take family if I have to play charity matches because then you also get time to travel.
Q: When did marry?
A: In 2000.
Q: Is your wife a relative?
Q: Who wanted your marriage-your parents or you?
A: Both, I wanted that life should be disciplined so I married early and it’s a fact that you realize a sense of responsibility after marriage.
Q: Is your wife interested in your game?
A: (With Smile) She sees very little of my game.
Q: Do you bring gifts for your family?
A: Yes, I bring something for everyone. In fact, they say no too but I like giving gifts.
Q: Does your wife demands things?
A: I myself bring her everything and most of the time she likes it.
Q: What’s your wife’s reaction about all your scandals?
A: All my scandals took place before marriage. Life is different after marriage.
Q: Ever talked to wife about all this?
A: (With Smile) yes, when she asked I told her everything. Now she knows everything about it and now it does not matter.
Q: Who shops for you-you or your wife?
A: Most of the times I do shopping myself.
Q: Which is your favorite dish?
A: I eat everything. I like Chicken Biryani and Chinese food.
Q: Any special dish you ask your wife to make?
A: I like everything made by her.
Q: Do you also cook sometimes?
A: When we go for County Cricket it becomes very difficult to eat everyday out. So, then I sometimes make Chicken Curry or Bhindi(Lady Finger).
Q: Which foreign country you like?
A: With family and for travel purposes I would prefer West Indies and Dubai but for cricket I like Australia and India. The atmosphere there for cricket is awesome.
Q: What do you do when at home?
A: Because of cricketing schedules, we are left with a very less time to spend with family. Most of the time I remain at home with my daughters and wife or sometimes we go out.
Q: How long can you live without your family?
A: I feel I cannot live without them.
Q: Shahid, with whom are you close among your brothers and sisters?
Q: You are short tempered?
A: Yes, that’s a bad habit of mine.
Q: What do you do when angry?
A: I don’t understand what to do and I even don’t know what I’ll do. Just leave this question.
Q: When do you become sad?
A: When I do not perform well, at that point of time I’m very sad.
Q: Shahid tell us, do you read any thing before going out to play match?
A: I read “Rakat Salat Hazat” before going out for play.
Q: What kind of music do you prefer to listen?
A: I listen to music while driving. Earlier I liked fast but now slow music is my preference.
Q: Perfume which you generally use?
Q: Ever you dreamed of something and that came true?
A: It happens sometimes. In West Indies, before making record, I dreamed of it and told it to my room mate. He said “may Allah prove your dream true” and that dream was true.