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Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Khan Afridi has felt deeply hurt and disappointed the way the smearing campaign was launched against him following the ball biting incident during the fifth and final One-day International against Australia at Perth on January 31.
"I did commit a blunder in frustration by biting the ball and subsequently faced the punishment for the offence," he told APP Sports Correspondent Ehsan
Qureshi in an exclusive interview in Karachi on February 22 upon his return from Dubai
after the just concluded two-match Twenty20 International series against England.
"Our team was on a losing streak and in the heat of the moment I did a wrong thing in
in the state of frustration," he regretted in what probably was his first media interview in Pakistan after that controversial incident.
"In the past so many extraordinarily controversial incidents had taken place on and off the field in cricket but they had gone unnoticed because the media was not so strong in that era," he pointed out.
"I am really stunned at the manner in which the odd mistake of mine has been so much highlighted It’s very strange indeed to find the matter being blown out of proportions,” Shahid Afridi observed.
"I have already served the two-match ban imposed by the ICC and could face a bigger sentence if I do commit any other mistake,” he said.
"I once again apologize to the whole nation and my followers across
the globe for the wrong I committed. I have served the country to the best of my abilities and will continue to do so as long as required by PCB and the selectors," he
"Look at the golf superstar Tiger Woods. He had made a mistake and he apologized to his followers and chapter may shortly be closed. That’s all. The life has to go on,” the dashing all-rounder opined.
Well Shahid Afridi is a smart guy, having lived his life in Karachi. He has been one of the popular cricketers of the country despite his inconsistent record at the international level. A crowd puller in every part of the country he has had massive following abroad too.
He, however, has had his own share of problems. He’s not new to controversies. He was in the news for the wrong reasons when he was found guilty of attempting to damage a cricket pitch a few years ago.
Having been in and out of the team, he is also accused of being one of the leading characters in the plot to oust skipper Younis Khan at a time when he should have been his right hand man being the vice-captain.
Some observers feel that instead of helping out Younis Khan, the dashing all-rounder aligned with the intriguers in the team after being assured that he would be captaining the national team in the World Cup 2011.
Did he commit the blunder of his lifetime by deserting Younis Khan and joining hands with the forces that eventually succeeded in their designs or was it another big ‘six’ by the master blaster only time will tell.
Syed Khalid Mahmood has had passion for writing and sports since childhood. After having edited wall papers and magazines in his student life, he had started contributing to various international publications from an early age.
He joined the mainstream journalism in 1987 and his first book was published later the same year. After having studied at the famed institutions like Cadet College Petaro and Delhi College, he graduated in civil engineering from the prestigious NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, in 1986.
He has earned greater fame and recognition in the field of media being acclaimed as a leading international sports writer, having worked for some of the eminent newspapers like The Frontier Post and The News International besides a brief stint with The Mississauga News. He has also appeared regularly as an analyst on various television channels.
He has already authored 12 books viz Asian Glory (2012); Reflections (2010); Cricket Fever: A History of Pakistan-India Tours (2008); Mission Caribbean: A Guide to ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 (2007); World Cup 2003: Top of the Charts (2005); Spotlight on World Cup 2003 (2005); World Cup 1999: So Near Yet So Far (2000); Pakistan’s Sports Greats (1997); Pakistan: The Land of World Champions (1995); Pakistan’s Triumph in World Cup 1992 (1993); The Caribbean Challenge: A History of Pakistan-West Indies matches (1989) and Focus on World Cup (1987 and 1994).
He has had an active social life throughout. Having founded The Young Champs in 1984 he became the District Secretary of Rotary International District 3271 (Pakistan) in 2015-16. Besides being the Founder President of the NED Alumni Association, he is also the Vice President of the Delhi College & Schools Old Boys Association. He is also a member of The Petarian Association, Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Engineering Council and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.
His write-ups are carried by innumerable portals and websites across the world while his exclusive articles on the web, having grown in popularity, could be accessed on his blog at www.skmsports.com
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