Mr. Shahid Afridi,
Let me begin with congratulating you on your autobiography – ‘Game Changer’. Kudos to joining the league of writers (read: Shoaib Akhtar) who stir up just enough controversies with certain statements to make sure the book makes it to the top of the best-selling list, without actually having any worth of its own.
Negatively portraying your colleagues? Not cool. Tarnishing the image of Pakistan cricket that got you such fame? Disrespectful. Lying about your age (and conveniently covering it up as a ‘printing error’). Who even does that any more? Clearly, Shahid Afridi.
Dragging fellow cricketers like Gautam Gambhir and Imran Khan in the mud, only to backtrack and defend yourself is not exactly what an inspiring personality does. If you made the decision to make such statements about reputed personalities from the cricketing world, have the basic decency to stand by them rather than sheltering yourself into a corner.
But a particularly sexist remark about your daughters really sparked the flame to write this open letter to you.
Agreed, the world we live is still tilted in a man’s favour but that does not give you the right to decide your daughters’ future. Each of them has an individual and unique personality that cannot and should not be diminished by your misogynistic and hypocritical mindset.
“Ajwa and Asmara are the youngest and love to play dress-up. They have my permission to play any sport, as long as they’re indoors. Cricket? No, not for my girls. They have permission to play all the indoor games they want, but my daughters are not going to be competing in public sporting activities.” – Shahid Afridi, a snippet from ‘Game Changer’
How are you any different from other orthodox parents who believe having a son in the only way for the family name to flourish or that a daughter is always supposed to be confined within four walls? It is quick and easy to put the blame on ‘social and religious reasons’ but you do not have to look further than globally acclaimed Mohamed Salah, a Muslim by faith and a firm advocate of establishing equality between men and women in the Islamic world. Make sure to watch the video of his daughter scoring a goal like him. He was beaming with pride and joy as he watched the crowd cheer her on.
I don't judge anyone for what they do or meddle in people's life. I expect the same too from others. May Allah bless my daughters and daughters/women all over the world! Let people be. @fifiharoon @Independent
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) May 12, 2019
I do not question your love for your daughters but perhaps allowing them to be their own person is a good method of creating a beneficial future for them. Making decisions for your daughters is considered meddling. Coming to the conclusion that they are supposed to restrict themselves to indoor sports if they ever show an interest in sports is not what would be termed ‘letting people be’.
We look forward to reading autobiographies from inspirational personalities because it is a great way to connect with the person behind the star. What we don’t want is wasting time reading a book that oozes negativity and shatters the dreams of many aspiring youngsters. But perhaps your book happened for a good reason – this way, people will finally be able to lift the cloth of blind faith that saw you as an iconic cricketer.
**Please note – This is the author’s personal opinion and not the website’s.