LAHORE: Pakistan T20 cricket team skipper Shahid Afridi was served a legal notice on Monday over his 'more loved in India than Pakistan' statement.
Afridi on Sunday said during a press conference in Kolkata, the capital of India's West Bengal state, that his team always enjoyed playing in India and was loved by Indian crowds more than back home. “We have always enjoyed playing in India and have been loved by Indian crowds more than crowds back home in Pakistan. Cricket has always brought people together and I think politics should be kept away from cricket,” he said.
However, his remarks did not settle well with everyone. “Your remarks have hurt the feelings of Pakistanis,” the notice which was sent on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s official address by Judicial Activism Panel Chairman Azhar Saddiq read.
Loved by Indian crowds more than ones back home, says Afridi
The notice pointed out that establishing diplomatic relations or otherwise is the duty of the government and not of a player, adding the Pakistan team captain should not have issued such a statement.
Further, it demanded Afridi to issue a clarification of his statement otherwise an application would be filed to try him for treason charges under Article 6 of the Constitution.
The Pakistan cricket team currently in India to take part in World T20 cricket tournament. Pakistan, who begin their Super 10 campaign on Wednesday, have never beaten India in a World Cup.
Pakistan’s first match of the main tournament will be held at Eden Gardens on March 16 against a qualifier team, followed by the marquee clash against arch-rival India at the same venue on March 19. They will then take on New Zealand (March 22) and Australia (March 25) in their remaining Group B matches — both in Mohali.
Batsmen must play responsibly in World T20: Afridi
The Pakistan team was to fly out on Wednesday but the government had put their departure on hold, citing security concerns. On Thursday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had ruled out sending the team until special security assurances were met from India.
The matter was solved following security assurances from the Indian government.
Javed Miandad slams Afridi
Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad slammed Afridi for saying Pakistani players received more love from Indian fans as compared to their Pakistani counterparts.
In an interview with a local TV channel, Miandad described Afridi’s act as shameful.
“These cricketers should be ashamed of themselves for saying such a thing. Shame on you!” said the former skipper.
The 58-year-old said Pakistan should focus on cricket rather than pander to the hosts.
“What have the Indians given us? Speak the truth even while in India. For the last five years what have they given us or done with Pakistan cricket? Having served Pakistan cricket for so many years, I am shocked and hurt to hear such comments from our players,” he said. “The job of this team is to go and play well in India, not make such unnecessary comments.”
Pakistan cricket authorities should look into this matter and provide media classes to the players when they go abroad, added the veteran.
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