After Shahid Afridi won many hearts on both sides of the border when he promptly asked an Indian fan to hold the national flag properly while posing for a picture, the Pakistan cricketer said that politics should be kept away from sports as sports play a big role in bringing peace.
Afridi’s photo with Indian fans went viral on social media after he told the fan, “Flag seedha karo apna (straighten the flag).” He was among a host of former cricketers to play an exhibition Ice Cricket tournament in Switzerland. A week later, Afridi was quoted by Wisden India as saying, “Due to lack of international cricket between the two countries, we now play either in the ICC tournaments or the events such as Ice Cricket. I believe politics should be kept away from sports. It should rather be used as a tool to improve relations between the countries. Sport is something which can play a big role in bringing peace.”
Sharing his experience of the exhibition Ice cricket tournament, Afridi said, “It was nice to meet and play with players from India after a long time. That was something very positive about the tournament and I think it should continue. Both countries should also be playing international cricket against each other. The overall experience of ice cricket was quite interesting. It was very cold. Initially, we didn’t even feel the touch of bat and ball on our hands but later we got used to with it.”
Even two years after retirement from international cricket, Afridi continues to shine in domestic leagues, taking 15 wickets in eight games for Dhaka Dynamites in the Bangladesh Premier League. “The last couple of seasons in the leagues have been good for me. Sometimes I go months without cricket, therefore before an event, I have to put in the extra yards to get myself ready for cricket. I have started to practice for the PSL. I have reduced my other activities and am focusing more on the PSL. Hopefully, the upcoming season will be good for me.”