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Shaheen is one for the future, says Wasim
Pakistan News

Shaheen is one for the future, says Wasim

Wasim Akram extolled Shaheen Afridi's exceptional World Cup campaign, hailing the teenage pace sensation as Pakistan's future star.

The left-arm paceman broke the record of Wasim himself to record his country's best-ever World Cup bowling figures with a dazzling spell of seam bowling that rattled the Bangladesh batting line-up at Lord's on Friday.

Shaheen's profitable returns of 6-35 helped Pakistan end their tournament on a high with an imposing 94-run victory in their final group stage clash.

Although leveling with semi-finalists New Zealand on the points table, Pakistan head home as they have a vastly inferior net run-rate as compared to the Black Caps.

The disappointment of Pakistan's first-round exit has not taken the sheen off Shaheen's glittering performances all throughout the tournament promising a bright future ahead for his side.

Wasim, the hero in Pakistan's 1992 World Cup triumph, said he was elated by Shaheen's swift progress on the international arena.

"Definitely, Shaheen is one for the future, a beacon of light for the next generation of fast bowlers," Wasim told AFP.

"Shaheen is hard-working and a quick learner so these traits will take him to places."

The former Pakistan skipper, meanwhile, was unimpressed by the tactics opted by the team management pinpointing their reluctance to play Shaheen in the initial matches of the World Cup.

"Shaheen is a wicket-taking bowler and that was known before the World Cup, so it's over me why he was not played from the start."

'Want to attain greatness like Wasim and Waqar' - Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen made his mark in the tournament when he scythed through New Zealand's top order in Pakistan's must-win game at Edgbaston dismissing the dangerous trio of Colin Munro, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham in quick succession.

He proceeded to register 4-47 against Afghanistan before a final flourish with a career-best 6-35 versus Bangladesh.

Shaheen's remarkable spell of bowling earned him a place in history as he became the youngest player at 19 years and 90 days to get a five-wicket haul in a World Cup game, overtaking Kenyan spinner Collins Obuya's previous record.

"I am delighted to have performed like this," said Shaheen, who concluded his debut World Cup campaign as Pakistan's second-leading wicket-taker.

"But I am sure that this is only the beginning and I have to go far to attain greatness like Wasim and Waqar Younis."

Shaheen, like many other left-arm pacers of his generation, grew up admiring the legendary Wasim.

He shot to prominence when he took eight wickets for 39 runs in his first ever Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match two years ago.

Gradually, Shaheen generated comparisons with Wasim and leader of the Australian pace attack Mitchell Starc.

Following a fruitful season in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Shaheen was handed his international cap against the West Indies last year but he rose in stature after receiving the player of the series award for his exploits across the three ODIs against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur emphasized Shaheen possessed the resolve and talent to become the number one bowler in the world.

"I have seen the progress of Starc," said Arthur. "Shaheen can be better than all those who are in the business, because he has that will and talent."