Shaheen Afridi has made headlines by becoming the quickest fast-bowler to reach 100 wickets in one-day international (ODI) cricket. This remarkable feat was achieved during the thrilling World Cup 2023 match between Pakistan and Bangladesh, held in Kolkata on a Tuesday that cricket fans will not soon forget.
At 23, Shaheen Afridi achieved this milestone in just 51 matches, surpassing the previous record held by Australia’s Mitchell Starc, who reached the same milestone in 52 matches. This accomplishment cements Shaheen’s place in cricket history as one of the most promising and skilled fast bowlers on the international stage.
The list of the fastest fast bowlers to reach 100 ODI wickets now reads as follows:
- Shaheen Shah Afridi – 51 matches
- Mitchell Starc – 52 matches
- Shane Bond – 54 matches
- Mustafizur Rahman – 54 matches
- Brett Lee – 55 matches
Notably, Shaheen Afridi’s achievement also solidifies his position as the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODIs, surpassing the record previously held by Saqlain Mushtaq, who accomplished this in 53 matches. This record-breaking moment has not only etched Shaheen’s name in the annals of cricket history but also positioned him as a true cricketing sensation.
Recognized as one of the finest bowlers in the world, Shaheen Afridi is a versatile asset to the Pakistan cricket team, excelling in all formats of the game. His remarkable ability to wreak havoc with the new ball has made him a formidable force in the cricket world, striking fear into the hearts of opposing batsmen.
Shaheen made his international debut in Tests, ODIs, and T20Is back in 2018, marking the beginning of a remarkable journey that has now led to this incredible milestone.
The World Cup clash between Pakistan and Bangladesh was a momentous event in itself. Bangladesh, led by captain Shakib Al Hasan, won the toss and chose to bat in what was a crucial match for both teams. For Bangladesh, who had suffered five losses in six matches, this game was a must-win to keep their hopes alive. They changed their lineup, bringing back batsman Towhid Hridoy in place of Mahedi Hasan.
On the other side, Pakistan, coming off a heart-wrenching loss to South Africa in Chennai by just one wicket, made three changes to their squad. The return of opener Fakhar Zaman, along with Agha Salman and Usama Mir, added depth to their lineup. Notably, Shadab Khan was still recovering from a concussion sustained during the South Africa match, while struggling opener Imam-ul-Haq and spinner Mohammad Nawaz were omitted.
The match was a critical juncture for Pakistan, who had four defeats in six games, and winning was imperative to keep their slim hopes of making it to the semi-finals alive. However, the backdrop to this crucial match was marked by reports of unpaid players, as well as the resignation of chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq due to allegations of a conflict of interest.
Shaheen Afridi’s record-breaking achievement as the fastest fast-bowler to claim 100 ODI wickets is a momentous occasion for the cricketing world. It showcases his exceptional talent and dedication to the game, solidifying his status as one of the most promising cricketing talents globally. While the match between Pakistan and Bangladesh had its own set of stakes and challenges, the spotlight undoubtedly belonged to Shaheen Afridi, who continues to inspire cricket fans with his remarkable performances.