Shahid Afridi led Pakistan to unexpectaed high in the World CUp 2011 by taking his team to the semifinals. But, after the loss of semifinals against arch rival India, who went on to win the championship, his comments have started a new discussion. Is Afridi a Sore Loser or Is he Daring to Speak the Truth!!
Afridi’s men lost to India in the semifinal. Befor the semifinal, he did mention that India’s media was biased against Pakistan. After returning home, fresh from the World Cup semifinal defeat, he added further that Pakistanis cannot expect warm hearted welcome from Indian counterpart. He further added that Pakistanis have big heart, unlike the Indians.
The comment has raised a furore. Is he the tormented captain!! Was he done by Indian media and others!! Since he started complaining about Indian media, one can feel how hurt he could have been specially after losing the match in front of his country’s Premier and fans who have crossed the border to see their team losing against their biggest rival and political enemy.
If his comments are correct, then as he was respected as Pakistani captain in the World Cup, he would be respected as the brave man who preerred to speak the truth and not letting political diplomacy stop him from pouring his heart out.
Unfortunately ex-cricketer Aamir Sohail from Pakistan, who led Pakistan in 1999 World Cup, fails to agree with Afridi’s opinion. In his view, Afridi has over-reacted.
On the other hand, those who have seen the match have a different view. Every Indian fan, watching on television or in stadium, felt that despite tall friendship claims in pre-match presentations and hugging with Indian players and Dhoni, when the match started, and Sehwag started hitting the ball, Afridi, despite being the captian, was the one who started indulging in abusive language. Even when Tendulkar was out, replays confirmed that he did not have something nice to say. Although, like his hidden spin bowling action, his action did not appear to be leading to using abuses on the face of the Indian batsmen, but behind them viewers felt, Afridi was abusive. All that without any kind of provocation from Indian players or Indian fans.
As far as media is concerned, probably before giving such statement he should consider few aspects:
1. Has media in his country been supportive of India (in sports or elsewhere)? They have probably even not given due credit to Sachin Tendulkar.
2. Where else in the world when his team visits, the media of home nation praises Pakistani team more than their own team!!
If his abuses and media related excuses are linkes, probably he knew in advance that a defeat against India was looming large in the semifinal, or wherever they cross path against India in the World Cup. But a defeat would lead to Pakistani fans rage against Team Pakistan and captain. Probably to save himself from that, he just created stories that makes him a hero in the eyes of his followers.