Pakistan team management Tuesday came out with all support for their under-pressure skipper Shahid Afridi whose comments in the arrival press conference in Kolkatta which drew huge criticism back home.
“We are more loved in India than in Pakistan,” Afridi had said on Sunday.
That prompted former greats like Javed Miandad and Mohsin Khan to lash out at the comments while major television channels also flashed the comments as “unnecessary and untrue.”
Afridi on Monday clarified the statement, saying his comments were positive and to give a message.
“I answered a question in a positive manner and tried to give a diplomatic manner because cricket is something which has always bettered relations between the two countries,”
Afridi clarified. “Ask Imran Khan and Wasim Akram, they are also adored in this country where cricket is worshipped, so don’t take my comments as negative.”
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar also backed Afridi’s statement.
“Emotions always run high when there is a question of Pakistan and India,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
“What Shahid Afridi said, he has obviously got reactions in Pakistan, but I look at it as a good way to ensure less hostility towards the Pakistan team.”
“You say nice things about Indian public; maybe you mean it, maybe you don’t mean it. But what it will do, it will certainly help as far as the crowd is concerned.
“The crowd will not be overly hostile to Afridi and the Pakistani team. That can actually work well for Pakistan,” said the 66-year-old Indian batting legend.”