Early life and career
Shaheen belongs to the Zakhakhel Afridi tribe of the Pashtuns.He grew up in Landi Kotal, a town in Khyber District, Pakistan, on the border with Afghanistan. He is the youngest of seven brothers; his eldest brother, 15 years his senior, is Riaz Afridi who played a solitary Test match for Pakistan in 2004. Shaheen started his cricket career from the Tatara Ground in Landi Kotal, which is named after the nearby Tatara hills.
Riaz Afridi introduced Shaheen to hard-ball cricket at the FATA Under-16 trials in 2015, with Shaheen having played only tennis-ball cricket until then. Success at this level led Shaheen to selection for the Under-16 tour of Australia in November 2015 where he played his part with four wickets in the 2–1 victories in the One-Day and Twenty20 series.
In December 2016, Afridi was included in the Pakistan Under-19 cricket team selected for the 2016 Under-19 Asia Cup held in Sri Lanka.He took 3 wickets for 27 runs in Pakistan’s nine wickets win over Singapore in their opening match of the U-19 Asia Cup.
In early September 2017, Afridi signed a two-year contract with Dhaka Dynamites, a major Bangladesh Premier League franchise. Later he made his first-class debut for Khan Research Laboratories in the 2017–18 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on 26 September 2017.In the second innings of the match, he took 8 wickets for 39 runs,the best figures by a Pakistani bowler on first-class debut.
In December 2017, he was named in Pakistan’s squad for the 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. He was the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan in the tournament, with 12 wickets. Following Pakistan’s matches in the tournament, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named Afridi as the rising star of the squad.
He made his Twenty20 debut for Lahore Qalandars in the 2018 Pakistan Super League (PSL) on 23 February 2018.The following month in the PSL, during Lahore’s match with the Multan Sultans, Afridi took five wickets for four runs. Lahore won the fixture by 6 wickets and Afridi was named the player of the match.
In April 2018, he was named in Baluchistan’s squad for the 2018 Pakistan Cup.He made his List A debut for Baluchistan on 25 April 2018.
In March 2018, he was named in Pakistan’s Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for their series against the West Indies.He made his T20I debut for Pakistan against the West Indies on 3 April 2018.In September 2018, he was named in Pakistan’s One Day International (ODI) squad for the 2018 Asia Cup.He made his ODI debut for Pakistan against Afghanistan on 21 September 2018.
In November 2018, he was named in Pakistan’s Test squad for their series against New Zealand. He made his Test debut for Pakistan against New Zealand on 3 December 2018.
In April 2019, he was named in Pakistan’s squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.