Shahid Afridi, COVID-19, coronavirus, Lockdown, Unlock-1, Pakistan, cricketer
Since the outbreak of the pandemic Afridi has been busy in helping the poor via his "Shahid Afridi Foundation," which has been donating food, disinfectant soap, masks and other amenities to the needy in Pakistan. Photo: PTI

Shahid Afridi takes dig at India as Kiwis and England pull out of Pakistan tour

Former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi has taken a dig at India while talking about his disappointment at New Zealand and England pulling out of their tours of Pakistan.

New Zealand recently abandoned their tour hours before the first ODI was scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi on September 17, because of a security threat. Days later, the England team pulled out, citing the mental and physical well-being of players.

“We all know that there is a huge amount of scrutiny when it comes to arranging tours. Proper investigations are conducted by the security members of the touring nation. The routes are defined and only when the process is completed, that is when the teams are given the green signal to visit the country,” Afridi said in an interaction with Cricket Pakistan.

Referring to India, he further said that “if you have to look at the bigger picture then I think we need to take a decision which shows the world that we are also a country and we have our pride. It’s okay if one country is behind us but I don’t think other countries should also make the same mistake. They are all educated nations and should not follow India.”

It was reported in the media that an e-mail which had prompted New Zealand to call off the tour had originated from India. Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry had said the “e-mail was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore”.

Afridi found the decision of New Zealand cricketers “unforgivable”. “New Zealand cricketers are loved in Pakistan and for them to do something like this is unforgivable. If there was any potential threat, they should have been shared with the PCB and waited for Pakistan’s security forces to assess the situation,” he said, adding that “cricket should improve relations”.

Talking about the Pakistani cricketers going to India, he said: “Situation was bad in India. We were getting threats. Our board asked us to go and we went there. Similarly, during COVID, the situation that was there in England, cricket went on. If you trust false e-mails and cancel tours then I believe you are offering them fodder to win. This is not the right way.”

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