Shahid Afridi has topped (jointly with India’s Zaheer Khan) the table of maximum wicket takers in ICC World Cup 2011 held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Both Afridi and Zaheer grabbed 21 wickets.
Afridi has proved himself as a very good captain in his repeated spell after he was given the charge last year when the Pakistan team was in a face-saving mode after having so may allegations against it. He is also a very good fielder undoubtedly. But his image as an all rounder is diminishing as his batting has become consistently a big question mark.
Carrying his team to the semifinals itself was a big achievement for the Pakistan team and it should have accepted it as a proud accomplishment. Soon after its defeat against India in the semis on March 30, 2011; Afridi’s daughter, who has not even touched double figures in age, was shown on TV speaking blatantly against the Pakistan team’s young ace batsman Misbah-ul-Haq’s slow batting in that match. Were words forced into that young child’s mouth? That was apparently clear once Afridi reached back home.
As long as Afridi and team were here (in India), they were very friendly and goodie-goodie to other teams’ players. But the moment Afridi reached back home, he started spraying venom from his mouth against Indian players, media and the country as a whole.
Afridi has criticized Indian ace batsman Gautam Gambhir for dedicating the ICC World Cup finals win to the victims of 26/11 (the Mumbai terror attacks). How it has hurt his (Afridi’s) feelings is beyond anybody’s understanding. Is it wrong for Gambhir to feel sad about innocent victims in a massacre? Has Afridi been hurt because some butchers belonging to his country (Pakistan) are being tried for 26/11? Or is his criticism of Bambhir merely the frustration of losing in the semis against India?
Afridi has now probably maligned his and his team’s best efforts to reach a high round like the semis without controversy. Their past has always been questioned regarding involvement with bookies and match/spot fixings.
Afridi also forgot that initially, his own country was also named as a co-host for this tournament. But due to the so safe and harmonious environment there [insert laugh track], Pakistan lost the honour of hosting it. How and where has he felt the pinch is quite interesting to know.
The main difference between a good player and a good politician is that a good player demonstrates his strength on the field rather than in a press conference by playing with words and spitting venom that falls back on him and his team. Afridi and his teammates are well admired by thousands of Indians. In the semis, they were well boosted and cheered by crowd for all their good bowling, batting and fielding efforts.
How Afridi can forget that just a few days back, he was in Mohali, India enjoying food and other things. But after leaving the place, he criticized how Indian fans don’t have a big heart. He should have had the guts to say it in front of the media when he was in Mohali.
Now, Afridi’s latest statement is that media in Pakistan has twisted his statements. Whatever the case, his statements have been well condemned by many in his own country.
Photo credit for Afridi picture:cricketonline.pk