KARACHI: Pakistan cricket legend Shahid Afridi said Friday he is planning a Twenty20 match to raise money for almost half a million people displaced by a military operation in the country's northwest.
More than 470,000 have fled the offensive against strongholds of the Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan tribal area on the Afghan border.
Aid efforts have been stepped up to cope with the exodus and Afridi, who was born in Pakistan's tribal areas, said he wanted to help.
"I am in talks with the authorities and will soon announce a Twenty20 match in Lahore to raise funds," the big-hitting allrounder told reporters.
The 34-year-old was speaking at the launch of his charity foundation which will focus on mothers and internal refugees.
Afridi said the foundation had set up a 16-bed maternity hospital in remote Tangi Banda village in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
"I want to return to my country what it has given me and with an aim to serve my people," he said.
The $160,000 hospital named after Afridi's father Fazlur Rehman was paid for by the star, who said he had been inspired by former captain Imran Khan.
"Imran set an example for all of us," said Afridi. Khan runs a cancer hospital in Lahore through charity.
SAF soon will Organise a T20 match for IDP's of NW, would like to invite PM Nawaz Sharif & Imran Khan for participation.#GreenFlagSpirit.— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 27, 2014
Afridi said his foundation would also work on education and sports to turn youngsters away from the path of extremism.
"The youth in remote areas have no education and so whoever wants to change their mind for their motives can use them for suicide bombings and other negative work," said Afridi.
"If we educate them then they can be more helpful for the country."
Afridi, who has played 378 one-day internationals and 74 Twenty20s for Pakistan, said he would spare more time for his foundation after the 2015 World Cup.
He retired from Tests in 2010 after playing 27 matches.
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@ Hunza wala: Have you seen how much he loves his children! And yes all GIRLS!! These are people like you who spread hatred and are sexists! The world is more in danger cuz of liberal mullahs like you, Master-of-everything!! get a life dude if u can't appreciate someone doing any good! You people actually don't deserve any kind of help and favor!!
@Hunza wala: Just tell us what you or your likes have done for the IDPs !! STOP the hate-filled comments just because you misunderstood someone or didn't agree with them doesn't mean that everything they do/say is negative.
Even I disagree with his statements about women, but the news is about helping IDPs, not funding/helping female athletes.
What about critics of Imran Khan and Shahid Afridi who were offended by that video ? Are they doing something on their own to help IDPs rather than whining ?
Dont disturb Sir Imran Khan, he is busy in politics !!!!
This is a man who thinks women are meant to raise children and keep up the house. Nope, don't believe in him at all. Afridi, with a mullah outlook cannot change overnight.
faisal at least someone is doing something for this nation. Let him do what he wants , at least he is contributing something. The problem is that we don't appreciate someone efforts.
Thanks for letting us know. This information, coming from an IDP like yourself, is definitely good news, that you are well taken care of. Happy to hear that.
I would support your community efforts but don't relate this to your inclusion in cricket team. I hope that you would not link it with your captaincy or something else. I persaonlly think that by retiring from cricket you would serve for the community too.
Great idea Lala ji. Lets go for it.
It is a nice move by Shahid Afridi to launch a charity foundation. Setting up a hospital is a valuable service. It is nice that he wants to return to his country and his objective is to help his people.
Great service to his brothers and sisters. This proves that he is a real Pakhtoon who cares for poor people unlike a fake Pakhtoon who could not stand up for the people who elected him.
I highly appreciate your efforts Lala...... Keep it up !!!
Excellent step forward Lala . I am with you on helping meet the objectives of your foundation. Setting up a Hospital is inspiring. Inshallah look toward to supporting SAF.
The only Imran-like player to come out of the team after the man himself. Wasim Akram had the potential but not the will. Expect an adventurous future for Afridi after he's done with cricket.