It was a not a very happy homecoming for Shahid Afridi after Pakistan's Asia Cup triumph as he got into a scuffle with a fan at the airport, claiming that he reacted angrily only when his three-year-old daughter was pushed to the ground by eager admirers.
Later, Afridi apologised for hitting a fan at Karachi airport, saying he lost his temper when he saw his little daughter getting almost trampled by enthusiastic autograph seekers.
"I know what I did was wrong. I should have controlled myself. But I couldn't take it when my daughter was pushed to the ground," Afridi told 'Dawn News'.
Afridi, who was adjudged Man of the Match in the Asia Cup final against Bangladesh that Pakistan won by just two runs, insisted that he had lot of love and respect for his fans and always tried to be pleasant with them.
"But when my daughter who was waiting for me near my car got pushed by fans trying to get near me I lost my temper," he said.
Afridi's brother Mushtaq insisted that the man involved in the incident was not a fan.
"I wouldn't describe him as a fan Shahid can never think of hurting a fan," he said.
The popular allrounder was caught on camera attacking a fan by pushing and slapping him at the Karachi airport soon after his arrival from Dhaka after winning the Asia Cup title.
Minutes after he had spoken to the media waiting for him at the airport, where a large number of fans had gathered to welcome their heroes, Geo News and other channels flashed footage of a visibly angry Afridi attacking a fan dressed in a blue T-shirt and pushing him to the ground.
According to the channels, the fan, who was badly roughed up, had pestered Afridi for an autograph.
But another channel said the Pakistani all-rounder lost his temper as his little daughter who was with him was pushed around by the fans clamouring for an autograph from Afridi.
"Whatever the reason for him losing his temper but Afridi's actions cannot be justified at all," one channel said.
Afridi appeared very angry and upset and as he was getting into his car, he turned around and attacked the fan first pushing him to the ground and than trying to kick him before his brother Mushtaq got in the way and prevented the situation from getting out of hand.
Afridi was also seen scolding another fan and threatening to slap him before he got into the waiting car.
The incident which was repeatedly flashed by channels is likely to come as a shock to his countless fans who have always backed him in all situations.
"We don't know what happened but certainly Afridi should not have lost his temper in this way," a board official said.
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He was provoked. Why would any father keep quiet when his daughter's being crushed?
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