Pakistan cricket legend Shahid Afridi opined on Virat Kohli-led Team India wearing of army caps in the 3rd ODI against Australia 3rd ODI in Ranchi.
Just moments after International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had sought their permission before donning the camouflage-style army caps in the third ODI versus Australia at Ranchi, veteran Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi opined on the move during his Pakistan Super League (PSL) press conference on Monday. When asked about the cap and India’s move, Afridi threw in a hilarious reply.
After Multan Sultans’ convincing win over Lahore Qalanders in the PSL match at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday, Afridi was asked by a journalist about his thought on Indian team wearing army caps as a mark of respect for the Pulwama terror attack victims. While manager Nadeem Khan intervened to urge reporters to ask questions pertaining to the match and the league, the reporter clarified that the question was based on the fact that Afridi is a Pakistani. And that is when the former cricketer replied with a smile: “Caps pehni to utar bi deen (They wore but took it off as well)”
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— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) 11 March 2019
Earlier in the evening, ICC spokesperson responded to ANI on Team India donning the camouflage caps against Australia: “The BCCI sought permission from the ICC to wear the caps as part of a fundraising drive and in memory of fallen soldiers (in Pulwama attack), which was granted.”
India’s move did not go down well with Pakistan Cricket Board who had written a strong letter to ICC on Sunday saying that sports and politics should not be mixed together.
“There’s absolutely no misunderstanding in the ICC about our position,” PCB boss Ehsan Mani said late on Sunday in Karachi. “We believe that cricket and sports should not be used for politics and we have said this very clearly. Their [India’s] credibility in the cricketing world has gone down very badly.”
In the past, ICC had taken actions against two players – Imran Tahir and Moeen Ali – for showing political sentiments during a match. Moeen was banned five years ago for donning an armband which showed ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ in a match against India. On the other hand, Tahir was reprimanded for displaying the image of a Pakistan pop singer Junaid Jamshed beneath his national jersey during a T20I against Sri Lanka in 2009.
“You have two examples from the past already, where both Imran Tahir and Moeen Ali were sanctioned for something similar,” Mani said. “The ICC had taken strong action against them and we have sought similar action against India. The permission they took was for a different purpose but they acted differently.”