Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi faces criticism over sexist remarks in autobiography

"It's for social and religious reasons that I've made this decision regarding my daughters not competing in public sporting activities and their mother agrees with me," wrote Afridi in his book.

Press Trust of India, May 14, 2019 16:48:05 IST

Former Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi batted away accusations of misogyny this week as critics lashed out at the cricket star's admission that he refuses to let his daughters play outdoor sports.

The remarks were just the latest controversy stemming from Afridi's tell-all autobiography — Game Changer — released in Pakistan and India last week.

File image of Shahid Afridi. Reuters/ File

File image of Shahid Afridi. Reuters/ File

"It's for social and religious reasons that I've made this decision regarding my daughters not competing in public sporting activities and their mother agrees with me," wrote Afridi.

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

In the book, the cricketer also unleashed withering criticism against old teammates — including erstwhile World Cup captain and current Prime Minister Imran Khan — and admitted to being slightly older than previously reported, drawing accusations he was not the youngest player to set the record for scoring 100 runs in an international.

However, his comments about his four daughters — who are aged between 10 and 20 years old — may have proven to be the most galling to the public with social media users labeling the all-rounder a "misogynist" and "hypocrite".

"Afridi is no better than a typical middle-aged average Pakistani guy, who wouldn't mind hanging out with someone else's daughters but would balk if his own did the same," tweeted Salman Siddiq.

"His daughters, his decisions? Really?? So the girls' voices and choices don't matter? Not even when they're adults? Because #FatherHasSpoken," added Asha Bedar on Twitter.

Pakistani author Bina Shah also roasted Afridi, telling the BBC his decision was an example of "Pakistani macho culture that says I am the father, I can say what my daughters are going to do and not do, and there is not a thing that you can do to stop me."

Others pointed to the examples set by other athletes on the issue, including Egyptian football star at Liverpool Mohamed Salah who has advocated for the equal treatment of women in the Islamic world.

Salah made headlines over the weekend after a viral video showed him proudly celebrating as his four-year-old daughter scored a goal ahead of Liverpool's last game of the season at Anfield.

But back in Pakistan, Afridi pushed back at the criticism.

"I don't judge anyone or meddle in people's life," Afridi tweeted on Sunday.

"I expect the same too from others. May Allah bless my daughters and daughters/women all over the world! Let people be. My daughters are very precious to me! My life revolves around them."

Afridi retired from professional cricket in 2016 but he continues to be a mainstay on Pakistani television, frequently starring in commercials while also attending high-profile sporting events.

Updated Date: May 14, 2019 16:48:05 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254