LAHORE: Former Pakistan captains Shahid Afridi and Younus Khan have been awarded honorary life membership by the Marylebone Cricket Club. Honorary life membership is awarded to some of the finest cricketers and men and women associated with the game. And including the duo, three players from Pakistan have been awarded the honour this year. Earlier in July, Misbahul Haq was awarded the same honour. There are also 22 previous Pakistan players on the list, including icons such as Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad and Ramiz Raja.
Afridi scored over 8,000 runs and took 395 wickets in 398 ODIs for Pakistan, including a 37-ball century in his first innings as a 16-year-old, which stood as a record in ODI cricket until 2014. The 37-year-old also played 98 T20 Internationals, scoring 1,405 runs and 27 Test matches, in which he made 1,716 runs. His unbeaten 54 in the World T20 final at Lord’s in 2009, when he was Man of the Match, helped his side to win the tournament for the first time.
On the other hand, Younus played 118 Test matches for Pakistan, scoring over 10,000 runs and averaging 52.05 in a 17-year period. The 39-year-old retired at the end of the series with West Indies earlier this year and is one of only four Pakistan batsmen to have scored a Test match triple century. He also played 265 one-day internationals for his country, scoring 7,249 runs at an average of 31.24, and also made 442 runs in 25 international T20 matches, but more importantly in the shortest format, led Pakistan to the World T20 title in 2009, defeating Sri Lanka in the final at Lord’s.
MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson said: “It is fitting that these two players from Pakistan have been awarded Honorary Life Membership of MCC. “Younus is one of a selected number of batsmen to have scored 10,000 Test runs which is a fine record that speaks for itself, but it was the graceful way in which he made those runs that was so eye-catching to the spectator,” he remarked. On Afridi, he said that the cricketer was “one of the most exciting and ground-breaking all-rounders to have played international cricket, and with bat or ball he made compelling viewing.”