Fastest century in ODI by debutant
Shahid Afridi has been known for his exploits with his cricket bat. In his debut, one-day international innings he rocked the world cricket with his fastest 37 balls 100 innings against Srilanka in 1996 in Nairobi is a well-known fact. This was one such record which lasted for more than 17 years before Corey Anderson of New Zealand broke it in 36 balls in 2014 against West Indies. Currently, it is in name of the world’s most devastating batsman Mr. AB de Villiers who scored a century in 31 balls in 2016 against West Indies. But what connection Sachin has with Afridi debut and his hundred, let’s discover.
Sachin connection with 37 ball century
This is all about records but interesting fact over here is it has Sachin Tendulkar connection to Afridi’s century. And the connection is “cricket bat”. Yes, the bat used by Afridi in that match was of Sachin which was handed over to him by Waqar Younis. Shahid just got into the Pakistan team and during one of their net sessions Waqar gave a bat to him and asked him to play with it as it has good balance. This was the same bat which Sachin gave to Waqar for practice. Afridi loved it’s balanced and went ahead to try it out in his very first one-day international match. Amazingly 16 years and 217 days old lad registered the fastest century with that bat in his very first match.
As reported by Gulf News, Afridi said that his 37-ball hundred against Sri Lanka in Nairobi, in his very first one-day innings, came off the bat of the modern day’s greatest batsman.
“I had just got into the Pakistan team and during nets in Nairobi ‘Wicky Bhai’ [Waqar Younis] gave me a bat and said, play with this and see. It is Sachin’s bat,”
“I tried it out; it felt good and played with it in my first ever one-dayer. I scored that innings of 100 in 37 balls with the same bat,”
“It was a great honor for me to play with Sachin’s bat for he was a great player. Sachin had given the bat to ‘Wicky Bhai’ and had asked him to get a similar bat made in Sialkot for him [Sachin],”
“Of course I have also got out on zero with that bat. Now it is with me and some time back people told me to auction it but I still have kept it with me,”
“It will always be one of my treasured possessions as I used it in my very first one-day match playing for my country and also for hitting a world record,”
Really this was a great gesture shown by the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and applause goes to Afridi as well. In his very first match, he was courageous enough to try a new bat which he never tried before. Well, I am not sure if such gestures will ever happen again in modern day cricket wherein there is so much of professionalism. Moreover, I don’t think anyone else will have the courage to do what Afridi did especially in debut match. Hats off to both the greats of world cricket.
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