Consider it our national fate or a Divine punishment but some kind of ignominy or another seems to chase us all the time. Cricket, being religiously followed in Pakistan like football in Egypt is regarded as an issue of national importance and our Cricket Team, our collective pride but the recent scandal of spot-fixing involving our players has left everyone in a whirl of confusion or piqued with more ‘expositions’ about it popping up by the day.
Despite all the rage and dysphoric atmosphere caused by it, there has been something in it all to smile and smirk about for a certain group of people : the Lala-loyalists.
Since the emergence of claims by British paper ‘News of The World’ of Amir, Asif and Salman Butt match/spot-fixing – other news about how Mazher Majeed, the notorious bookie could not get Shahid Afridi in his fold of activities is also being written about.
Afridi is termed by many as immature, whimsical and his successes as mere ‘flukes’ but the die-hard fans of the Sahibzada (including me) find no reason not to defend him tooth and nail even in his most outrageous doings such as the ball-biting in Australia to which he apologised about and stated why he did it.
After he announced his hasty retirement from Test Cricket during the series against Australia, he was subject to heaps of censuring and criticism from almost every Pakistani as to how he ‘cowardly’ ran from the game after losing a fw matches and now it has been revealed why he really left.
Afridi had also barred the Team from meeting the Majeed brothers during his captaincy while informing the management of the shadowy business of the two.
“Mazhar Majeed claims to have almost the entire Pakistan cricket team in his pocket but the one man the alleged match-fixer could never get a hold on is the temperamental Shahid Afridi.
In his numerous conversations with the undercover ‘News of the World’ reporter during a sting operation which has exposed a widespread betting scam, Majeed said he couldn’t get Afridi on board in his shady dealings.
“One player he does not want involved is Shahid Afridi, the veteran Pakistan captain in charge of the side in the one-day series. Afridi was not one of the players Majeed had in his pocket,” the tabloid reported.”
That says it all. Afridi is a man of integrity, honesty, character and a true stubborn-but-no-compromise-on-principles Pathan. And he has a heart, being the first player to actually raise funds for the flood-victims and personally visit the areas to distribute aid while issuing an apology to all the cricket-lovers around the world for the shame the recent scandal has caused them. And whatever his flaws, he loves the game and Pakistan.
And so I dedicate this post to myself and other Lala-loyalists all over the world who have always believed in one of the best Pakistan has ever produced.
People call us biased when defending Afridi, but I would quote the beautiful line from ‘The Kite-Runner’ with my own addition :
“For you Lala, being biased and rascist, a thousand times over!”
We love and support THE Great Sahibzada Mohammed Shahid Khan Afridi and will continue to do so.
The man who couldn’t be sold, ALL HAIL THE SAHIBZADA!
Boom Boom for the next Pakistan Presidential Elections! 😀
– Hafsa Khawaja