Pakistan’s premier fast bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi, achieved a significant milestone on Wednesday, ascending to the top spot in the ODI bowler rankings for the first time in his illustrious career. This remarkable feat comes after a string of outstanding performances, marking a high point in his cricketing journey, which has seen its share of ups and downs.
Afridi’s spectacular rise in the rankings saw him leapfrog seven places, dethroning the Australian speedster Josh Hazlewood from the pinnacle of the latest ICC rankings. This achievement follows his exceptional performance in a recent World Cup match against Bangladesh, where he claimed three wickets for just 23 runs.
Notably, this match also witnessed Shaheen Afridi reaching a significant milestone by securing his 100th ODI wicket. He achieved this remarkable feat in his 51st ODI, making him the third-fastest player to achieve this landmark in the format. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being the fastest pacer to reach this milestone.
In the current edition of the World Cup, Shaheen Afridi shares the top spot among the leading wicket-takers with Australia’s Adam Zampa, both having snared 16 wickets in just seven matches. Afridi’s bowling excellence is evident with an impressive average of 19.93 and an economy rate of 5.22, including a five-wicket haul.
While Afridi soars to the pinnacle of the bowling rankings, let’s take a look at the presence of Indian players in the top 10 of these rankings:
- Shaheen Shah Afridi (PAK) – 1st
- Mohammed Siraj (IND) – 3rd
- Kuldeep Yadav (IND) – 7th
- Babar Azam (PAK) – 1st
- Shubman Gill (IND) – 2nd
- Rohit Sharma (IND) – 5th
- Virat Kohli (IND) – 7th
- Shakib Al Hasan (BAN) – 1st
- Hardik Pandya (IND) – 11th
- Ravindra Jadeja (IND) – 13th
- Shadab Khan (PAK) – 20th
In a recent clash against Bangladesh, Shaheen Shah Afridi played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s victory, contributing to their campaign in the Cricket World Cup 2023. His fiery spell, with figures of 9-1-23-3, was instrumental in bundling out Bangladesh for a modest total of 204 runs in 45.1 overs.
Fakhar Zaman’s aggressive half-century, in conjunction with Shaheen’s brilliance, powered Pakistan to a convincing seven-wicket win, eliminating Bangladesh from the tournament and keeping Pakistan’s slim semifinal hopes alive.
Shaheen Afridi’s remarkable journey to the top of the ODI bowling rankings is a testament to his skill and determination. It’s an achievement celebrated by cricket fans around the world, and it adds a new dimension to the ongoing World Cup. As the tournament progresses, the battle for supremacy continues, with Indian players also making their mark in the top 10 rankings.