Afridi blames Javed’s changing vision for leaving Zalmi

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Sunday revealed the reason which led to his exodus from the Pakistan Super League franchise Peshawar Zalmi owned by Javed Afridi.

Afridi, on March 25, tweeted his decision to part ways with Zalmi after playing two seasons for the side — first as the captain and second as a player after giving the leadership to West Indies’ two-time World T20-winning captain Darren Sammy.

“There are a few personal things that I don’t want highlighted in the media,” said Afridi while talking to a private news channel. “I didn’t want to be a hindrance in his new goals and vision. I have a lot of commitments to my own foundation, so I wouldn’t be able to give my services completely to him also. There a lot of projects of my foundation that I need to set my focus on.”

On a question if the decision will affect the relationship that both Afridi’s families share, the 37-year-old said: “These things don’t affect our families’ friendship and relation.”

Afridi, known as ‘Boom Boom’ for his swashbuckling batting, further said that the decision was delayed due to a few commitments he had with Zalmi. “I wanted to take this decision after the PSL final but I had to fulfil a few commitments with Peshawar Zalmi so I delayed it a little. However, I did want to win the PSL with Peshawar Zalmi and we did that.”

Afridi made it to prime time news for a lot of on-pitch controversies but his name never came in the limelight regarding any off-the-pitch scandals.

“I married in an early age to stay away from controversies, to not diverge from a straight path,” said Afridi in an attempt to explain why he never became a hero for the tabloids.

However, on the question of second marriage, Afridi said every man wishes for it and is also a desire which will never materialise.

“Every man wants to marry a second time,” Afridi said laughing. “Some do it while others keep wishing for it. Mine is also a wish only.”

Afridi retired from the T20Is — the last format he was representing Pakistan in — during the second edition of the recent PSL, however, he is not planning to say good bye to cricket.

“First I will continue playing cricket for one or two years, until I think I am fit,” said Afridi of his future plans.

Meanwhile, he is also focusing on Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF)’s projects. “I’ve worked with a lot of NGOs for the past nine years during earthquakes and floods. I have seen the suffering very closely. I want to put my effort in for them [through SAF]. I haven’t made my foundation to compete with any other NGO, it’s just a mean to an end.”

On a question of why Afridi is investing his efforts in the health sector like 1992 World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan, he said: “Whatever Imran bhai has done is great, may Almighty give him more success it that. I started off with the idea of a two-room clinic but eventually it took the shape of a full-fledged hospital. People are devoid of basic health facilities in the remote areas of Pakistan while we are living like kings in the metropolitans.”