Age is temporary, Shahid bhai is permanent!

Shahid Afridi has hinted that the 2051 World Cup might be his 100th comeback for the team © Getty Images

Retirement and comeback are two sides of the same coin for Shahid Afridi. Abhijit Banare looks at the phenomenon surrounding the ageless all-rounder’s ability to stay around for years to come.

Please note this is a humour article – work of pure fiction

Having made a comeback for probably for the 30th time in as many years, ace cricketer Shahid Afridi has hinted at playing the 2051 World Cup to be held at an undisclosed location.

Afridi made a comeback in the side for the team’s tour to West Indies in July this year to fill the requirement of a leg-spinner in the team. “This is just a start. I’m fresh and raring to go for a few more years. If things go my way, my 100th comeback will be for the 2051 World Cup,” said Afridi chewing a red cherry apple at the press conference. With this return Afridi has officially made more comebacks than Rocky Balboa.

While his retirement and return to the squad have been making frequent headlines, his ability to defy age has been at the centre of attention as well.

The Unreal Times reported that according to senior Biotechnology experts in London, Afridi’s genetic age is just 18 years, four months, three days, 17 hours and three seconds old at the time the report was revealed. This makes him eligible even for the Pakistan Under-19 squad. The experts are also contemplating the use of carbon dating to trace the maverick all-rounder’s history more accurately.

The 86-year old Israr Ali who played for the first Pakistan team in 1952 said that Afridi is his childhood friend and defended any wrongdoing on part of the ageless all-rounder terming it as an age given gift.

Recounting an anecdote, his father said, “This is not the first time my son has been dragged into the age controversy. Even during his childhood, the officials used to reject him as he appeared to be overage for Under-14 tournaments. However, after thorough consultation with astrologers and DNA experts, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was forced to create a new age group called Afridi Under-14 and Afridi Under-19.”

Meanwhile, ICC has already inducted Afridi’s birth certificate in the ICC Hall of Fame and placed it in its official museum alongside an image of WG Grace indicating his historical importance.

Explaining the historical significance of Afridi, historian Premchandra Guha said, “Afridi’s sociological importance transcends generations and represents emancipation of Pakistan from Quadrangular to sole power of cricket in the modern era.”

Age is temporary, Shahid bhai is permanent!

A rare image of Afridi’s birth certificate as claimed by Lala hospital where he was born.

With a credible backing from ICC and historians, Afridi’s county team Hampshire has already dispatched documents for a lifetime contract to the all-rounder to play for them in all T20 tournaments and ten-over matches which might be a possibility in coming years.

When contacted by media, a rejuvenated Afridi said, “I think I am still better than lots of other [Pakistan] players of my time like Hanif Mohammad, Waqar Hasan, Wasim Bari, Sadiq Mohammad… so many. All these players came and went, but my hunger for the game hasn’t dipped. I’m sure to make a comeback and prove a point.”

Rumours are that, Rameez Raja was heard in the commentary box learning a new cliché which says Age is temporary, Shahidbhai is permanent.

The enormity of the announcement doesn’t end there. Cosmetic brands are vouching to make Afridi their brand ambassador and launch an ageless cream which promises to make you feel 19 even at 69. With a career promising to span over decades, it is likely that more than 20 historians of different age-groups will have to slug it out to commemorate his career once he chooses to permanently retire.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)