Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi’s recently-launched autobiography ‘Game Changer’ has some interesting anecdotes. In one of the chapters in his book, Afridi recollects his sensational 37-ball maiden century against Sri Lanka in 1996 with which he created a new One Day International (ODI) world record. The all-rounder revealed that he had used Sachin Tendulkar’s bat to play the remarkable knock.
Sachin Tendulkar had given his bat to Waqar Younis to take it to Sialkot — World famous sports goods manufacturing city in Pakistan — and get a custom-made replicated.
“But guess what Waqar did before he took it to Sialkot? He gave it to me before I went in to bat. So, effectively, that first century in Nairobi by Shahid Afridi was made with Sachin Tendulkar’s best bat. Go figure,” writes Afridi, who was 21 as opposed to what was recorded as 16.
Afridi hit an impressive 2012 off 40 balls, and the knock included 11 sixes and six boundaries in almost that of t-20 match scoring fashion, with a rate of 255. It was just his second ODI outing and first ever batting display in Pakistan’s main team.
The cricketer also revealed that he had actually dreamt of smashing the Sr Lankan spinners for sixes the night before the match.
“I had a dream that I was slamming Jayasuriya and Muralitharan and Dharmasena for sixes,’ I said. ‘Big, huge sixes.’ ‘Let’s pray it happens, brother,’ said Shadab’,” writes Afridi.
The autobiography, which has been co-authored by Wajahat S Khan, reveals that Afridi told his roommate Shadab Kabir about the dream the next morning. Kabir played as a middle-order batsman and capped five tests and three ODI’s for Pakistan.
In the match, it was Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya who was at the receiving end at the Gymkhana Ground in Nairobi, Kenya. He recorded 3/94 in 10 overs while Muttiah Muralitharan went for 2/73.