The rise and rise of Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled Pakistan to victory in the second Test against the West Indies in Kingston. The 21-year-old left-arm pacer claimed a 10-wicket match haul as the visitor beat the Caribbeans by 109 runs, thus levelling the series 1-1.
It is the third instance, after 2005 and 2011, that Pakistan came from behind to deny the West Indies a series win. Riding on opener Fawad Alam’s unbeaten 124, Pakistan finished its first innings at 302/9. West Indies folded for 150, with Afridi returning 6/51.
Pakistan declared its second essay at 176/6, setting a target of 329 for the host. This time, Afridi (4/43) and spin bowler Nauman Ali (3/52) restricted the Windies to 219.
Afridi’s 18 wickets in two Tests earned him a career-best No. 8 spot in the ICC Test bowling rankings. Alam gained 34 places to move to the 21st position in the batting rankings.
Ramiz Raja, the new PCB chairman
Ramiz Raja got a go-ahead for the change of guard at the PCB after meeting Prime Minister and World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan. – The Hindu
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja will take over as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board after Ehsan Mani.
Mani’s three-year tenure ended recently, and Raja got a go-ahead for the change of guard at the PCB after meeting Prime Minister and World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan.
The procedure is a long one — his name will be forwarded to the Board of Governors at the PCB as one of the two nominees. Following this, there could be an election if another BoG member wants to contest, but a PM’s nominee is unlikely to meet any resistance.
In a statement issued by the PCB, Mani thanked his colleagues for supporting him in the role. “I am thankful to PCB Patron, Prime Minister Imran Khan and grateful to my colleagues on the PCB Board of Governors for their support during the past three years. We made significant progress in becoming a credible, transparent and professional organisation,” he was quoted as saying to the PCB as a parting note.
Get well soon, Chris!
Cairns, 51, one of the world’s top all-rounders in the early 2000s, is undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia after a stroke paralysed him. – AFP
Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns is paralysed after a stroke during a heart operation recently.
The 51-year-old, one of the top all-rounders in the early 2000s, suffered a life-threatening heart condition earlier in August after a tear in the lining of a major artery. Cairns, who lives in Canberra in Australia, was moved to St. Vincent Hospital in Sydney. He was on life support.
On August 27 morning, Cairns’ lawyer Aaron Lloyd updated the media on his medical condition. “During the life-saving emergency heart surgery Chris underwent in Sydney, he suffered a stroke in his spine. This has resulted in paralysis in his legs.
“As a result, he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia. Chris and his family remain appreciative of the immense public support as they deal with this difficult time,” said a statement.
It will be a long road to recovery for the tall and athletic cricketer who had won games single-handedly for New Zealand.
Faf du Plessis back in action
South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis will captain St. Lucia Kings in the Caribbean Premier League before flying to UAW to join Chennai Super Kings for the remainder of the IPL. – AFP
Faf du Plessis did not expect his concussion symptoms to last beyond four weeks. After battling a challenging two months that included rehab sessions with specialists, the South African will lead the St. Lucia Kings in the Caribbean Premier League.
Post the CPL, which ends on September 15, Faf will fly to the United Arab Emirates to join the Chennai Super Kings for the remainder of the Indian Premier League.
Faf sustained the concussion during a Pakistan Super League game in June. He collided with Quetta Gladiators teammate Mohammad Hasnain while trying to save a boundary. “Normally, during a concussion injury, you get hit on the helmet, and someone checks you out; either you continue batting or recover in a week. I thought it would take two or four weeks. It has been triple [of that],” he told reporters.
He expects CSK to hold on to the electric form in the second half of IPL 2021. “We are a better-balanced squad from the previous season,” he said.