Just days after winning hearts around the globe, and across the border, for his and the team’s on-field display in the World Cup, Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi launched a bizarre attack on India, its cricketers and its media for ruining matters between the two countries.
While he labelled Pakistan media “100 times better” than their Indian counterparts, Afridi said that the Indian team was not as “large-hearted” as the Pakistanis despite continuous efforts and that its media took heart in blowing matters out of proportion, resulting in the omnipresent animosity between the two nations.
“You can’t hide the fact that no matter how much we try, they [the Indian team] can’t be on the same level as us and don’t have a heart as big as us,” Afridi told Dawn News in response to a question pertaining to India’s hospitality and treatment.
In a separate interview during a television show on Samaa, Afridi confirmed that due to the same reasons, it was “really difficult to have a long-term relationship” with India.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was quick to distance itself from Afridi’s comments, a spokesperson confirming that the board did not share the allrounder’s views as it was his personal opinion. Afridi also came under heavy attack from former cricketers, including former chief selector and opener Aamir Sohail, who labeled the jibe as ‘immaturish’.
“I think he shouldn’t have made such comments,” said Sohail. “You got to respect every individual and his statement is kind of immaturish and at the same time untimely.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2011.