Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi. Image-Twitter

In the recently concluded IPL 2022, rising Indian pace wonder Umran Malik and New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson regularly bombarded the speed guns. Both Malik and Ferguson bowled over 150 km/h on various occasions. Ferguson seized the record for the fastest delivery of the event from the uncapped Indian in the GT vs RR final with a 157.3 km/h thunderbolt.

Pakistan is another country that has produced some of the game’s fastest bowlers, but current pace leader Shaheen Shah Afridi has a different perspective.

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi. Credits: Twitter

Pace Is Not Everything: Shaheen Afridi

Pace won’t help you if you can’t swing the ball, according to the winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers award for men’s cricketer of the year in 2021. “Speed can’t help you if you don’t have line and length and swing,” said Shaheen when asked about Umran Malik and Lockie Ferguson’s performance in the IPL.

Umran Malik
Umran Malik. Image: IPL/BCCI

The left-arm fast bowler was speaking to the media ahead of Pakistan’s three-match One-Day International series against the West Indies, which was intended to start in December but was postponed due to multiple Covid-cases in the visitors’ camp.

In Pakistan’s most recent home series against Australia, Shaheen was the pick of the bowlers, trolling the hitters with his swing early on. He hopes to repeat the performance against the Windies, despite the fact that the extreme weather conditions may provide some difficulties for the fast bowlers.

“The weather is hot but we are looking forward to playing good cricket in it. It would be a tough challenge for the fast bowlers to bowl long spells in summer but as a professional, we are ready to face it,” he maintained.

“This is an important series in terms of World Cup qualification which is why we don’t want to lose any match. Also, West Indies are a strong international side and it is not as if they are sending under-19 players for this series,” he added.

On June 8, the first One-Day International (ODI) will commence. The three matches will all take place in Multan.

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