On October 4 1996, a 16 year old Shahid Afridi walked out to bat in his first innings ever and smashed the reigning world champions for a 37 ball ton – the fastest century ever at that point. That record stood for 17 years. Thus Afridi announced himself to the world and his blitz of a debut perfectly defined his career. Primarily a leg spinner, his explosive batting endeared him to crowds all over the world. Afridi soon became a one man army, who could decimate any opposition on his day, and became a instant fan favorite that has defined a generation of Pakistan cricket fans.

However his high risk/high reward strategy led him to trouble. His inconsistent performances made him a target for team captains and managers who urged him to control his temperament – but to no avail. He played only 28 matches in the longest format, and his career is stocked with retirements and returns from those retirements. However with his patchy form continuing into this World T20, it seems too many that the Afridi whirlwind is coming to a stop 20 years from the day it exploded on world cricket.

“But forever associated with him will be his madcap batting, the prospect of which is a crowd-puller the world over. He is a compulsive basher, literally unable to control his urges to slog every ball that comes his way, and not much of it is classical.”

–Osman Samiuddin, ESPNCricinfo profile of Shahid Afridi.