Shahid Afridi thinks sports is one of the ways to bring India and Pakistan closer. The cricketer had recently taken part in ice cricket tournament. He drew a lot of attention after posing picture with a girl holding Indian tri-color.
Afridi wants India and Pakistan to play together more often. “Due to lack of international cricket between the two countries, we now play either in the ICC tournaments or the events such as Ice Cricket,” Afridi told Wisden India.
“I believe politics should be kept away from sports. It should rather be used as a tool to improve relations between the countries. Sport is something which can play a big role in bringing peace.”
Afridi had played in the ice cricket tournament with Indian players recently. He said it was nice to catch up with the Indian cricketers after a long time. “It was nice to meet and play with players from India after a long time,” Afridi said. “That was something very positive about the tournament and I think it should continue. Both countries should also be playing international cricket against each other.
“The overall experience of ice cricket was quite interesting. It was very cold. Initially, we didn’t even feel the touch of bat and ball on our hands but later we got used to with it.”
Afridi still has a comeback in his mind. Pakistan will be playing T20I at Lord's and the all-rounder can make a comeback to international cricket if he gets picked.
“I don’t have details about the match but if there is an offer, I will consider it,” he said.
The explosive batsman is currently eyeing the third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL). He will be playing for Karachi Kings this year. “The last couple of seasons in the leagues have been good for me. Sometimes I go months without cricket, therefore before an event, I have to put in the extra yards to get myself ready for cricket.
“I have started to practice for the PSL. I have reduced my other activities and am focusing more on the PSL. Hopefully, the upcoming season will be good for me.”
PSL 2018 will start on February 22 in the UAE and finish off on March 25 in Pakistan. The two eliminators and the final of the tournament will be played in Lahore and Karachi respectively.
Although Lahore has played host to a fair few international matches and a PSL final in recent years, Karachi will see a high-profile cricket match for the first time since the Test involving Sri Lanka in 2009.
“The situation in Pakistan is much better now,” said Afridi. “It’s good to know that cricket is returning to Pakistan.
“This year, there will be two playoffs in Lahore and then the final in Karachi. It’s going to be a huge moment for the people of Karachi. It’s a positive sign and message to the world.”