Pakistan’s former allrounder Shahid Afridi landed in Kathmandu on Thursday and said it feels like home.
Afridi, one of the most ferocious hard hitters of the ball, is playing for Kathmandu Kings XI in the Everest Premier League beginning at the TU grounds from Sunday. The former Pakistani captain long held the record of the fastest One Day International century will only play his team’s first two matches of the tournament.
“I am very glad to be here. I feel like I am in Pakistan. It feels like home,” said the star allrounder who is on his first trip to Nepal.
Afridi is the biggest name to be associated with the tournament which also awaits the arrival of Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal. Former Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga, South African Richard Levi, West Indies cricketer Kesrick Williams have already arrived.
Afridi has a huge fan base in across the world and Nepal, being a south Asian nation is not an exception. “I’ve hear a lot about the people of Nepal and the hospitality that the country offers. It’s a beautiful country and will try spend good times here,” he told reporters upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
“I am here to support Nepal and Nepali cricket as a whole. This is a difficult and tough time (for everyone) and that is the reason why I am here. I am very happy and honoured to be here,” Afridi added during a very brief encounter with the press.
Nicknamed “Boom Boom” for his explosive batting, has an experience of 326 Twenty20 matches having spent times across the world playing different global franchise tournaments.
He lifted the Twenty20 World Cup for Pakistan as a captain in 2009 having played for the country 98 times. He has also played 398 ODI’s for which he held the fastest century record for 17 years.
He was playing his second match of his career when he slammed a 37-ball 102 against Sri Lanka in 1996. Former New Zealand cricketer Corey Anderson broke that record in 2014 against West Indies bettering the feat by one delivery.
Former South African skipper and current Twenty20 great AB De Villiers did the unthinkable smacking a 31-ball ton against West Indies in 2014.