Shahid Afridi: Former Pakistan cricket captain says his daughters are forbidden from playing outdoor sport

‘Feminists can say what they want... I’ve made my decision,’ Afridi says

Conrad Duncan
Saturday 11 May 2019 14:54
Shahid Afridi’s memoir has caused controversy in Pakistan over his criticism of former national cricket players
Shahid Afridi’s memoir has caused controversy in Pakistan over his criticism of former national cricket players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi has said he refuses to let his daughters play outdoor games or compete in public sports.

Afridi said his stance was motivated by “social and religious reasons” as a conservative father and he was unconcerned by criticism.

“They have permission to play all the indoor games they want, but my daughters are not going to be competing in public sporting activities,” he wrote in his memoir Game Changer, published last week.

“The feminists can say what they want; as a conservative Pakistani father, I’ve made my decision,” he added.

The cricketer, who was nicknamed “Boom Boom Afridi” for his aggressive batting style, noted his daughters were “great at sports” but he would only permit indoor games.

Pakistan does not forbid women from playing sport and the country has national cricket, football and baseball teams. However, participation in sport by Muslim women is often low.

A 2017 study by Sport England found just 18 per cent of UK Muslim women participate in regular sport, compared to 30 per cent of the UK’s female population as a whole.

Journalist Fifi Haroon said Afridi’s comments were “disrespectful to our [Pakistan’s] amazing women’s cricket team who has done Pakistan proud globally”.

The country’s women’s cricket team is currently seventh in the world, according to the International Cricket Council’s ranking for one-day international matches.

Afridi’s memoir has caused further controversy due to his criticism of other Pakistani cricket players, such as former national captain Waqar Younis, and his claim to have been aware of misconduct during the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

Members of Pakistan’s cricket team were convicted of taking bribes from a bookmaker for deliberately underperforming during a Test match at Lord’s cricket ground.

Afridi said he was aware of the plan before it became public and raised it with the Pakistan team management.

He said inaction over the scandal led to him stepping down from the team’s captaincy and eventually retiring from Test cricket.