'Baalo me conditioner lagaake taiyaar hone se kuch nahi hoga': Afridi's brutal remark after 'parchi' chants on Khushdil
The former Pakistan captain didn't mince his words as he talked about the ‘parchi, parchi’ chants towards Khushdil Shah in the side's loss against England in the seventh T20I.
Pakistan endured a 67-run loss in the seventh T20I of the series against England in Lahore, conceding a 3-4 series loss. After conceding a mammoth score of 209/3 in 20 overs, Pakistan could only reach 142/7 in 20 overs, as their middle-order failed to step up again. After their openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were dismissed in single-digit scores, the middle-order was left exposed and succumbed to pressure; except Shan Masood (56), no other batter could impress as Pakistan conceded a series defeat.
The poor outing from the Pakistan team also infuriated the fans at the stadium, as they targeted their middle-order batter Khushdil Shah with chants of ‘parchi, parchi’, signifying that the batter was not selected on his merit but on the basis of recommendations. Khushdil scored only 63 runs in the series and in the deciding game, he was dismissed on 27 off 25 deliveries.
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi spoke in detail about the fan chants and insisted that the players need to be ready for all sorts of criticism if they don't perform.
“See, there is no doubt that when you give consistent performances, the crowd will worship you. Poor form comes in every players' life, and criticism is a part of it. But in the end, you will have to make a comeback. Everyone is expecting fours and sixes from you in the lower order and if you don't perform for 5-6 matches in a row despite being a main player in the team, then you will have to be ready for criticism,” Afridi told Samaa TV.
“You have to face criticism in international cricket. You have to convert it into good performances. A player is tested in international cricket. If you have talent but you are not brave enough, you can't face the challenges.”
After the anchor pointed out that Pakistan cricketers aren't very receptible towards criticism, Afridi had a rather interesting answer.
“Achhe kapde pehenke banda achha toh lag jaata hai, but asal cheez toh performance hain. Baalo me conditioning karke taiyaar hone se kuch nahi hota. Asal cheez performances hain. Performance aapko khoobsurat banaati hai. International cricket is all about pressure, aur depend karta hai players pe, ki kaise vo pressure handle karte hain (You can wear good clothes and apply hair conditioner all you want, but in the end, it's your performances that matter. International cricket is all about pressure and it depends on the players on how they handle it.),” Afridi said.
“Ye dileri ki cricket hai. Agar aap andar se tagde honge, aap har cheez ko face kar sakte hain. Aapki best cheez performances hain. Agar aapko har match me chance mil raha hai, aapko perform karna padega (You have to be brave. If you are strong, you can face any situation. If you are getting chances in every match, you will have to perform.”
The Pakistan team is currently in New Zealand where the side will take part in a tri-series involving Bangladesh. The Babar Azam-led side opens its T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals India on October 23.