Mahendra Singh may have sustained a lot of flak for his team’s embarrassing ODI series defeat to Bangladesh but he got an unlikely supporter from Pakistan. Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi, who is now plying his trade in Caribbean T20 League, said he felt bad in the way Indian supporters critcise MS Dhoni.
According to Afridi this is “sub-continental trend” where the cricketers are brutally criticised after one odd series defeat.
“I really felt bad in the way MS (Dhoni) has been treated after Bangladesh series defeat. I completely think it’s a sub continental trend where our heroes are not spared after one bad defeat,” Afridi told PTI during an interaction.
He also accused the media. “The media is also responsible for not painting the true picture at times.”
Afridi, who himself is sustained a lot of criticism over the years in his own country. “I am not saying that one should not analyse the present performance of a leader or a player. Cricise him but when you do that please don’t forget to also inform the world about the past,” the swashbuckling batsman said.
Ditching away all criticism Afridi said, “when you look at Dhoni, just lok at his record before jumping to any conclusions. He has been such a tremendous player for India. His record speaks for itself.”
The former ODI and Test allrounder of Pakistan also credited Dhoni for building a good Indian team for future.
“Dhoni has built such a good team for the future. There is so much quality and talent in that batting line-up,” he said.
When asked about Pakistan’s future, he sounded positive.
“Pakistan cricket’s domestic structure has improved a lot in recent years. That is why we are now having a good supply line of youngsters in the national team. This team will only grow from strength to strength in coming days,” observed the 35 year old.
Afridi bid adieu ODI cricket in the Down Under World cup after playing 398 ODIs. Asked if he regrets not reaching the coveted 400 ODIs milestone, he replied: “Not at all. In fact i am grateful to Almighty Allah (God) that I have got the opportunity to play for Pakistan for such a long time.
“I am very happy to play T20 for Pakistan and would like to play the World T20 in India, next year,” he further added.
The hard hitting batsman also said that playing his trade in T20 leagues across the world is his way of staying fit for competitions.
“I have played in Big Bash in Australia and now I will be playing for St Kitts and Navis in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). I all these tournaments, you play with some top international cricketers in the world and you know you will have to be at your best to compete with team,” said Afridi. Before signing off Afridi said that “India’s co-operation will be needed” to resume full time in Pakistan.