Cricket
Pakistan Cricket captaincy is easier than PSL: Shaheen Afridi

Pakistan Cricket captaincy is easier than PSL: Shaheen Afridi

Despite the initial challenges, Shaheen Afridi now claims leading Pakistan feels "easier" than leading Qalandars. He cites the familiarity and shared language with his teammates, who he knows from domestic cricket, as key factors.

Pakistan’s young cricket captain Shaheen Afridi has thrown a curveball, claiming leading the Pakistan Cricket Team is “slightly easier” than captaining his Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise, Lahore Qalandars. This unexpected statement comes from a player who rose to prominence through the PSL and led Qalandars to back-to-back championships.

From Young Talent to PSL Captain: Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Afridi first entered the PSL spotlight in 2018, impressing with his fiery pace and a memorable five-wicket haul.

In 2021, he became Lahore Qalandars captain, reportedly at the urging of cricketing legend Imran Khan. This marked a turning point for both player and team, culminating in historic PSL victories in 2022 and 2023.

Pakistan Cricket Team Call-Up

Afridi’s success didn’t go unnoticed. When Babar Azam stepped down as Pakistan Cricket Team T20I captain in 2023, Shaheen Afridi was chosen as his successor.

However, some questioned his readiness for the international stage, especially after a controversial Test series in Australia and an underwhelming debut series against New Zealand.

Why International Cricket “Feels Easier”:

Despite the initial challenges, Shaheen Afridi now claims leading Pakistan feels “easier” than leading Qalandars. He cites the familiarity and shared language with his teammates, who he knows from domestic cricket, as key factors. In contrast, managing diverse personalities and coaches in the PSL presents a different set of challenges.

I don’t think there’s any difference,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “If anything, Pakistan cricket captaincy is slightly easier because the boys have played together, all through the domestic circuit together as well. We can express ourselves in our own language and understand our role. In franchise cricket, you have players from overseas, and you work with different coaches. That can get tricky, but in Pakistan cricket there’s greater familiarity.”

More Than Tactics: Building a United Team

Shaheen Afridi acknowledges his initial lack of captaincy experience but emphasizes the importance of building a supportive environment. He strives to treat all players equally, foster open communication, and maintain a positive team atmosphere. This, he believes, is crucial for success, regardless of the level of competition.

Afridi’s statement might raise eyebrows, but it also highlights his unique perspective. His success with Qalandars demonstrates his leadership potential, and his focus on team spirit is commendable. Only time will tell if he can translate his PSL magic with the Pakistan Cricket Team and silence his doubters.

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