Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi said he did nothing wrong after insulting a journalist during a press conference in Lahore yesterday. Following the incident, the media briefly boycotted the ongoing training camp of the national team in Lahore.
While the media persons in Lahore demanded nothing short of an apology, Afridi only said: “I always respect others and demand the same from others,” he said, a veiled mention to the journos to also respect him.
“It’s under my captaincy that the team rose to number two but we made basic errors to lose against England and that affected our rankings.”
Team manager Intikhab Alam managed to pacify the media, who returned on Thursday to cover the final day of the camp.
“I have talked to Afridi and he has reiterated that he respects the media, so hopefully such an incident will not happen again,” Alam said on Thursday.
‘Duniya News’ journalist Sanaullah Khan had asked Afridi how he planned to improve his captaincy after overseeing a 3-0 defeat against England in the United Arab Emirates.
Afridi took offence to the question and retorted. “I expected you to ask such a pathetic and low question, someone ask the next question please.” This miffed the media, who demanded an immediate apology.
Mumbai-based model and actress Arshi Khan who immediately stood up for Afridi in Mumbai said, the media should not be rude and careless while addressing a senior player.
Speaking to news agency in Mumbai, Arshi Khan said:
“Shahid Afridi is a very senior and good player. He has personally performed very well during all the recent cricket tournaments. It is a different matter that Pakistan did not win the recent Twenty20 series. While I understand the media has a right to question, media persons should not be rude, in-sensitive or misbehave with a senior cricketer like Afridi. Just because you have a boom or press card, does not give you the right to counter question someone as though you are an expert in the game. I challenge the journalist from Dunya News, Sanaullah Khan to take a bat and walk to the crease. If he can stay put for even 3-4 balls, he has a right to counter question Afridi in the way he did. It is very easy to speak and criticise, but to actually perform and handle the mantle of responsibility, is a different thing all together.”
Arshi Khan was quick to support Shahid Afridi on the issue. “He (the journalist) should understand a player’s mentality. You cannot blame one player for an entire sequence of events. Shahid Afridi has led Pakistan to victory in six out of ten matches, played so far during his captaincy which is a good record,” she said.’