Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Boom Boom bites balls because he can smell with his teeth

I wrote a few weeks ago that Shahid Afridi was making a big impression Down Under. Now it seems he has made an even bigger impression... on a cricket ball... with his teeth.

People do a lot of different things to cricket balls. Some spank them merrily, others tickle them cheekily. Many rub them vigorously and a few scratch them surreptitiously. People don't generally bite them, however.

Shahid Afridi is clearly no ordinary human being. I've always known there was something special about him, and after he attempted to take a chunk out of the match ball during the recent Perth ODI, the great man revealed to an Australian journalist that he does indeed have magical powers.

Reporter: "It did appear, from where we were sitting, that you might have actually put the cricket ball in your mouth on a couple of occasions."

Afridi: "No, I was just trying to smell it... how it was feeling."

Reporter: "To smell it?"

Afridi: "Yah" [awkward laugh]

Reporter: "But you don't smell it with your teeth?

Afridi: "Sometimes you can do."

Sadly for Afridi, his Jedi mind tricks didn't work on the match referee, who gave him a two match ban for "changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3." I doubt the maker of Law 42.3 ever envisaged that it would be broken in quite such an entertaining manner.

The irony is that by all accounts, Afridi looked - ball-biting aside - a far better captain than Mohammad Yousuf, who missed the match through injury. I still believe Pakistan should appoint Afridi as their permanent captain in all formats. He may be nuts but he's also inspirational. Plus millions would tune in to listen to his press conferences.

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