Imran Khan-Shahid Afridi voted as dream all-rounders pair
The 1992 World Cup winner and current prime minister Imran Khan and “Boom Boom” Shahid Afridi were not only popular on the field, but the two also make quite the pair off field.
The duo, who have amassed millions of fans and followers, have been voted as the most popular all-rounder pair as part of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Dream Team campaign.
The campaign, which has attracted around 800k social media followers, includes current and former cricketers, fans, journalists and cricket pundits who vote for their favourite pair of cricketers.
In its most recent poll, the majority expressed their desire to watch Khan, the prime minister and former captain of the Pakistan cricket team, in an imaginary pairing with Afridi together on a cricket field in a longer format of the game.
Abdul Raqzzaq emerged as third most favourite all-rounder of the country as an Afridi-Razzaq duo and Imran-Razzaq imaginary pairing were on the second and third rank on the popularity scale in the poll for a dream all-rounder pair.
Imran Khan made 3,807 runs and took 362 wickets in Test cricket in his 22-year career and is one of eight world cricketers to have achieved an 'All-rounder's Triple' in Test matches. On the other hand, Afridi played 27 Tests for Pakistan and scored 1716 runs and took 48 wickets.
The aim of the Dream Pairs activity is to acknowledge the services of former and present stars of Pakistan cricket. Before the all-rounders, the campaigns for spinners, fast bowlers, openers and middle-order batting pairs received tremendous response.
Among openers, the 90s batting greats Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail (qualification minimum 1,000 runs as opener) came out as the most popular pair.
The famed left-handed pair was followed by Saeed Anwar’s paring with Majid Khan, regarded as one of the most stylish and productive openers produced by Pakistan.
Among middle-order batsmen (qualification minimum 2,500 runs in middle-order, batting positions three to seven) the famed middle-order batting duo of Pakistan highest Test run-getter Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf emerged as the most popular pair followed by Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf, a pair that remained the backbone of Pakistan Test batting in recent history.
The legendary fast bowling duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis who shared 787 Test wickets between them was rated as the most popular fast bowling pair in Pakistan Test history, while Mohammad Asif was chosen to share the ball with Wasim as the second most popular fast bowling pair.
Among the spinners, the late legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir and off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq were rated as the most popular dream pair followed by the pair of Saqlain and leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed.
The qualification criterion for both fast bowlers and spinners was a minimum of 75 Test wickets.