There can be few formats and cricketers more suited to each other than T10 and Shahid Afridi. The former Pakistan captain first made his mark with a 37-ball hundred in his maiden ODI innings, which could just about have been squeezed into a 10-over game, and throughout his career earned a reputation for game-changing cameos and huge six-hitting.
He is now playing for the Pakhtoons in the T10 league in Sharjah, and while he has only played two innings so far, totalling eight runs, he has been impressed enough by the format to suggest it could be the ideal one to introduce into the Olympics.
“I think this is the best cricket you can introduce in the Olympic Games,” Afridi told Barny Read at ESPNcricinfo.
Fresh off a Test hundred last week, Jonny Bairstow hit the highest ever T10 score today.
He smashed 84 off 24 balls for the Kerala Knights against the Bengal Tigers.pic.twitter.com/CcHUD9nZtd
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 30, 2018
“I think you can take the game there and show the world what cricket is all about. I think this is the perfect format to introduce cricket and we are all enjoying it, which is the main thing.”
Cricket has only ever featured once in the Olympics, in 1900, when Great Britain beat France to win the gold. On that occasion the sides contested a 12-players-a-side, two-day, two innings match – a format even less traditional than T10.
With the ICC pushing for women’s cricket at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Afridi’s remarks add weight to the proposal.
Afridi also expressed his belief that the new format will be of great benefit to cricket in the long run.
Five ball overs?
A maximum of 20 balls per bowler?
The new regulations for 'The Hundred' have been confirmed.
Full details ?https://t.co/7kTW2HIKNU
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 29, 2018
“It’s quick fire, a big test of bowlers,” said Afridi. “Batsmen can show their skills and I saw myself some great innings, some great skills, some great shots.
“I think cricket will change with [T10]. Even T20 and one-day cricket will change with this cricket. I think you can take it [around the world] definitely because of the time.”