Waqar Younis recalls an incident when Shahid Afridi squeezed an Indian minister’s hand during a handshake


Waqar Younis, a legendary pace bowler, has lavished admiration on veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi’s physical power during his early cricketing days. He further revealed that Shahid Afridi’s handshakes used to be quite firm whenever he exchanged pleasantries with other players.

Younis spoke about an unidentified Indian minister who was on the receiving end of Afridi’s handshake during Pakistan’s visit to India purportedly around the middle of the 1990s. Younis used his own experience of being on the receiving end of a handshake as an example to illustrate this point.

“When Shahid Afridi first came, he was only 15 or 16 and already very strong. The first time I shook hands with him, he squeezed it so hard that I almost started sweating. That’s probably why he could hit those huge sixes,” Waqar said on A Sports.

“I still remember, we were on a tour of India. I know the name of the Indian minister, but I won’t use it. He came to see us and welcomed us. We were all sitting together. When he came, we all stood up. He met everyone and greeted us. Afridi was a junior and was standing in the back. When it was his turn, he shook the hands so hard,” he said.

Shahid Afridi was a member of Pakistan’s national cricket team for a total of twenty years, from 1996 to 2016, and during that time he set a great number of individual records thanks to his outstanding performance on the field. In the 2011 World Cup, he captained Pakistan to the quarterfinals and tied for the most wickets taken with Zaheer Khan. 

The former captain was named the Player of the Tournament in the 2007 T20 World Cup. He also won the Man of the Match award in both the semi-finals and the championship game of the 2009 T20 World Cup, which the “Men in Green” went on to win for the very first time by defeating Sri Lanka in the match played at Lord’s.

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