Shaheen Afridi has ascended to the top spot in the ICC ODI bowling rankings. This accomplishment comes on the back of his stellar performance in the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Afridi’s exceptional form has been instrumental in Pakistan’s campaign at the World Cup. He is currently the joint leading wicket-taker of the tournament, sharing the honor with Australian spinner Adam Zampa, with both players having claimed 16 wickets each.
Afridi’s three-wicket haul in Pakistan’s decisive victory over Bangladesh in Kolkata was pivotal in keeping their semi-final hopes alive. This performance also propelled the 23-year-old past nine of his contemporaries to secure the number one ranking.
This is the first time that Afridi has held the top ranking in any format. His rise to the top has resulted in Australia’s Josh Hazlewood (second), India’s Mohammed Siraj (third), and South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj (fourth) all dropping one place. Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have moved up two places, securing the seventh and eighth spots respectively.
The achievement is double as it means that Pakistan players now hold the top spot in two ODI categories. Skipper Babar Azam continues to narrowly lead the batting list, despite a dip in form that saw him score just nine runs against Bangladesh.
Afridi’s rise to the top of the ODI bowling rankings is a testament to his skill and consistency, marking him as one of the most exciting talents in international cricket today.