Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu, Mar 27: The captain of Pakistan cricket team Shahid Afridi thanked his kashmiri fans twice during the two matches, which the Pakistan lost to New Zealand and Australia played at Mohali earlier this week.
He was snubbed by the BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur soon after he claimed that lot of people have come from Kashmir to support his team.
Thakur asked Afridi not to give political statements and concentrate on the game. However, Afridi did not pay any heed to Thakur’s warning. After Pakistan lost to Australia again on Friday, Afridi thanked Kashmiris for supporting Pakistan team.
Afridi trying to mix politics with cricket has drawn flak as many people believe that he tried to rake Kashmir to divert the attention from Pakistan cricket team facing humiliating defeats in the World T-20 tournament.
“When Pakistan team arrived in India to play World T20 Afridi claimed that his team gets more love in India than Pakistan following which he was served a legal notice from Lahore,” said an observer.
He said, “It seems Pakistan cricketers like their politicians wait for a chance to rake Kashmir. Afridi thanking Kashmiris for their support was an attempt to insult India and convey it to the international community that Kashmiris support Pakistan.”
An analyst while talking to a local daily said, “At the first place India should not have allowed Pakistan team to visit India. It’s good that no Pakistani players are chosen for IPL and they are kept at bay.”
He said, “It has been proved beyond doubt that Pakistan is responsible for the terror and other attacks which take place in India. The best way to stay away from them is to boycott them (Pakistan) and all the ties including cricket should be snapped with them.”
A politician was of the opinion that India should take up the issue of Shahid Afridi talking about Kashmir at a venue of an international cricket match at the highest level so that he gets the punishment he deserves. ” Afridi should not be left off the hook and this matter should be pursued,” he added.
A cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir who did not want to be named said, “Pakistan team and its captain have turned out to be a bunch of jokers, who were found wanting in every department of the game. They were playing T20 cricket like a Test match and Afridi knows it very well. He spoke about Kashmir to cool the tempers in Pakistan and drive home a point that he challenged India at his home turf.”
The cricketer said, “Had Pakistan team played good cricket Afridi would not have tried hiding himself behind Kashmir and Kashmiris.”