Pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi says it will be a dream come true when he makes his Middlesex home debut at Lord’s on Thursday.
The towering left-hander has signed a contract for England County club based in London Ground, the spiritual home of the game.
Afridi told reporters at the Lord’s ahead of their match between Middlesex and Leicestershire on Wednesday:
Afridi is already on the ground, winning a 50-over-par 2019 World Cup match against Bangladesh 6-35.
“Now I want to do 10. [wickets in an innings]’ he said with a laugh.
“It was a good match for me because I am always proud of playing for my country and it was against Bangladesh.
“When you are young, you are playing for a World Cup match and you have six wickets. So yes, that is a big high for me and one of my best memories.”
One of the rising stars of world cricket, Afridi, is averaging 25 wickets and 95 wickets in 24 tests, and is set to make her first first match at the Lord’s after making her middlesex debut at Glamorgan last week.
Playing in the county championship’s second division, Middlesex won the game by 82 points in innings as 22-year-old Afridi took four wickets.
“Wherever you go, the first game is important.” Said the paceman who sent off Australian test star Marnus Labuschagne twice after scoring three wickets in a recent test series between Australia and Pakistan.
Middlesex captain Afridi is another Australian hitter from Peter Handscomb.
“It’s great to be here,” said Handscomb, 31, who last played test cricket in 2019.
“He’s not very good inside the net, but it’s good to have him in the team from center.
“That first game, the energy he had, the speed of the ball.
“He always wanted someone else, so the energy from the guy just came in was great. The boys loved him and loved everything he brought.
“Hopefully it will be a good sign for the next few matches.”
Afridi is adapting to English language conditions in many ways.
“It was cold last week, but I really like it here. I spent time with my cousins, friends and teammates in the first match and I really enjoyed it.”
Afridi’s time in England will take him across the country, but there is one place that matters more than any other, as far as he’s concerned.
“Your land is my favorite land. Everything comes after the Lord’s.”