“In my opinion, if I have to tell the truth, they (Indians) will never have hearts like Muslims and Pakistanis. I don’t think they have the large and clean hearts that Allah has given us,” Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi once said.
The uproar this statement created in the Indian media was obvious. And, It is understandable, considering they were termed ‘negative’, but a few unnoticed aspects in favour of the skipper will shed light between the lines.
Being amidst a massive crowd carrying slogans like “Gali gali mein shor hai, Pakistan chor hai,” and slamming abuses to opposition players near stands isn’t an easy task. And Afridi did it with aplomb.
Also, we are all aware of the significance of the World Cup, the prestige and glory associated with this for each country. To, lose this against the greatest competitors and facing the heat isn’t easy either.
Therefore, such bitter talk is in the nature of every human, not just Afridi.
Being limited by the orders of Taliban with ‘death attacks’, is it also possible that he was ‘forced’ to put down his neighbouring country? One never knows. However, if politics never entered cricket, things would have been remarkably different. Ah, well.
— Guest post by Shriya Narayan