Hello Shahid, we welcome you to Vogue Amour by Nageen!
NM: How is your T20 championship going in UK?
SA: Thank you Nageen, it is a big pleasure for me to make myself available to a super-talented girl like you. The T20 championship is going better than my expectations for me and I think I have found the form in my batting as well as bowling once again. Looking forward to making a comeback in the national squad.
NM: That’s fabulous! What are your activities in UK these days other than participating in T20 league?
SA: Apart from cricket, my focus is on strengthening the roots of Shahid Afridi Foundation which was a long-time dream of mine. I am regularly organizing charity dinners, functions and messages to raise funds for the noble cause.
NM: Can you please tell us more about the projects and aims of Shahid Afridi Foundation?
SA: We initially started in KP province of Pakistan which is my hometown and being from there, I know how hard it is for the people there to live without the basic necessities of life. Our first priority was to provide basic facilities to the deprived people in regions such as Kohat. We initially built a six-bed maternity hospital which has now expanded into a hospital with availability of medicines and proper health care. The reason behind this was that the motility rate of expecting mothers was extremely high in the region. Secondly, we made arrangements to make sure that the residents are provided with fresh and clean water. We also had an agreement to provide high-quality powder milk for infants. Now my aim is to further expand the foundation into interior Sindh and other provinces while I also plan to open a cricket academy where the best coaches and training facilities would be provided to aspirant cricketers. Shahid Afridi Foundation also won the award of the Best Upcoming Charity of the Year 2016 in Turkey where the Global Good Governance Awards were held in Turkey during May this year.
NM: Simply amazing and inspirational Shahid. We wish you a big success for Shahid Afridi Foundation. We all know that you are a fabulous cricketer and you have entertained your fans and critiques equally since 1996. All your fans would love to know that if you wouldn’t have become a cricketer, what would you have chosen as your profession?
SA: Hahaha, that’s a very interesting question! A lot of my family is in army and it has always been inspirational for me to see them wearing the prestigious uniforms and their disciplined lifestyle. If I wasn’t so passionate about cricket, I would have definitely been a soldier for my country.
NM: Shahid, when you showed your interest in cricket at your early age, what was the reaction of your parents? Did they support you to build a career?
SA: Since my childhood, I saw my elder brothers playing cricket and that is what built my passion around it. I was enrolled in school but all my attention was on cricket. There were no cricket academies around at that time so it was pure talent which allowed me to represent Pakistan U-19 in 1996 from where I was directly called to replace Mushtaq Ahmed as leg spinner in Pakistan team. My parents were not initially supportive because they feared that I might be left behind in life but once they saw me succeeding, their prayers always remained with me.
NM: Shahid, you captained Pakistan in all three formats of the game! What makes a good team?
SA: Well, I think the fitness of players is the key to success. I believe that there should be no place of unfit players in the team because the fit players also start becoming lazy seeing their routine. Having teamwork capabilities is also very important as there comes a lot of times where you have to think beyond your own interest to upkeep the national interest. When we represent Pakistan, we play with patriotism instead of focusing on individual performances. A player should never be selfish and should always contribute to team’s victory.
NM: According to your friends and colleagues, what are the best qualities that you have?
SA: I honestly think that my sincerity lies with my country and each and every individual who knows me will agree with this fact. They find me aggressive in various ways but I believe that a sportsman should be aggressive because that is what gives him or her the power to perform even in the toughest of situations.
NM: Do you plan to enter politics after retirement from T20 format?
SA: I have the intentions of entering politics but a lot of my friends and loved ones have advised me against it and instead recommended me to serve the country and community through social work and Shahid Afridi Foundation so this is something I haven’t yet decided.
NM: What message do you have for Vogue Amour by Nageen?
SA: First of all, I would congratulate you for immense success of your blog which you have achieved at such a young age and would assure that this is just the beginning. You are passionate about your work and that is what is the key to success. Whenever you feel down, always remember that Almighty Allah has better plans for you. I wish you all the best in your future.