How Shaheen the boy became Shaheen Shah Afridi the name

Shaheen Afridi: can give an advantage first up or at the death Getty Images

I wasn't sure I'd be selected for the World Cup, because the series that took place before the World Cup wasn't very good for me. I was taking wickets - no Pakistan fast bowler took more than me in that series. But my line and length wasn't accurate enough and I went for lots of runs. I couldn't compare myself to the great players in that team. But when I was selected, it was special as it was my first World Cup. And the ODI World Cup just hits different.

After the England series, I played my first World Cup match against Australia, but that didn't go well for me either. I took two wickets, but I couldn't meet the team's demands of where to bowl. I turned a corner after the New Zealand match and then took 15 wickets in four matches and ended up with the best average of the tournament [for Pakistan].

When you make mistakes, you learn from them. It's easy to spot the big mistakes, but if you spot and learn from your little mistakes, that helps you a lot. After the Australia game, I looked at who bowled well and what they did differently to me. Against South Africa, my first spell wasn't quite what I wanted. But the last spell I bowled in that game was when I felt like my rhythm was improving.

Then I worked in the nets on line and length. This was England, where if you bowl the same line and length, that's helpful. I knew it was the new ball, and I was bowling after the new-ball bowlers, so I was thinking if I can focus on containing and then take a chance by attacking with one or two balls, that can get me wickets. That's what I tried, and I consciously tried to apply what I was doing in the nets. That was the only thing I changed, really.

I didn't start off as a new-ball bowler, which sounds odd to people but was normal to me. Even at the Under-16 and Under-19 levels, and at the Under-19 World Cup in 2018, our coach used to value me as a first-change bowler, because he felt I didn't bowl with the new ball that well. Whenever I bowled with the new ball, though, I felt I got swing and thought I could do that job.

At that level all you want to do is play, whatever role you're given, but when I came into the senior side, I worked on bowling with the new ball. I only got the chance in a series in Abu Dhabi before that World Cup. I did well there and that's when I first started bowling with that new ball, really.

I remember the game against India, for which I wasn't selected. I was in the squad the night before but when it came to the toss, I suddenly wasn't. That's just a team decision, and they go with what looks like the right option at that time.

Of course, the disappointment of missing that match was deep. I felt I played the previous match well and was on track to play the next one, and then I missed out like that. I even got angry, but you have to accept some decisions for the team because this is not an individual game.

We lost that match but we maintained our hopes of qualifying to the end because of the way certain results worked out. I had thought I wanted to do my best for the team whichever match I played, and what I wanted most was to get the opposition's best batter out. Because that gave my team the best chance of helping our team win.

By the time we got to bowling against Bangladesh, we were effectively eliminated. But if you're representing Pakistan, any match, first or last, big team or small team, must be played as if it's a final. Ever since I played in the Under-16s, I have tried to treat every match like a final. Not even just when I'm bowling but also when I'm fielding. I want people to look at me and think I played with pride and never held back, so for me that Bangladesh game was still huge.

People look at my figures that day and sometimes think it might have been overcast with the ball swinging, but if you remember, it was bright and sunny that day - the kind of sun you get in Pakistan! We had batted well, and when I got two or three people out, the ball's condition was also to my liking. After that I began to bowl like I would in a T20, bowling my best balls and pitching it up full. I think I got the last two or three players out with yorkers. I did nothing special really, just controlled my motion. I had done well in the previous three matches and was just trying to carry that momentum.

The Lord's slope helped as well. People don't often understand this, but you only need the smallest deviation to get a batter out. So it's quite helpful, especially if you're bowling from the Pavilion End as a left-arm fast bowler. I was bowling from the Nursery End at the death, actually, but I felt I was still bowling well.

I spoke to a couple of cricketers at the time, and I said I didn't believe I could play that World Cup. I was going for plenty of runs too before that series. But that World Cup made me, and taught me a lot of things, not just in cricket but also in life. It taught me what I had the strength to bear and what I could withstand.

I look at that World Cup as a tournament that lifted my career a lot. Perhaps you could say it was the tournament that turned Shaheen the boy into Shaheen Shah Afridi the name.