Once a unified nation, India and Pakistan have gone on to become arch-rivals following the hurtful partition in 1947. Since then, the cross-border tensions, political differences and the prolonged issue of Kashmir have all fuelled the rivalry between the two neighbouring countries.
However, despite the differences in opinion on numerous matters between India and Pakistan, the cricketers from both the countries share mutual respect and admiration. Virat Kohli was probably the first individual to praise Mohammad Amir after he returned to cricket following his match-fixing saga.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also sent a signed Team India jersey to Shahid Afridi upon his retirement from cricket. Then, Afridi struck a chord with Indian fans after showing respect to the tri-colour during an ice cricket tournament in Switzerland. But, it seems times have changed.
The dastardly Pulawama attack that claimed the lives of more than 40 CRPF personnel has got everyone on the edge with the ties between the two nations reaching an all-time low. The suicide terror strike carried out by Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) has enraged India and its citizens who are now calling for a complete boycott of Pakistan.
And, amid all the backlash, Afridi did his reputation no good after he was seen spewing venom on India during an interview on a Pakistani news channel. Lauding Pakistan PM Imran Khan's recent statements, Afridi blamed India for targeting Pakistan under the garb of the Pulwama attack without any proof.
Pakistani Cricket Star @SAfridiOfficial endorsing the message of @ImranKhanPTI sent to India through a speech and saying Pakistan want friendly relations with all neighbours “Indians should behave like a well educated nation” watch tonight in #CapitalTalk on Geo News at 8 PST pic.twitter.com/2PxkesHmzq— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) February 20, 2019
"Without any proof they are putting all the blame onto Pakistan straight away. PM Imran Khan has once again spoken on this matter in a positive & clear way to explain that Pakistan wants to have good relations with not only India, but also Afghanistan, Iran & China," Afridi was heard saying on the show.
In the wake of the ghastly attack, IMG Reliance recently pulled out as the main broadcaster of the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which is currently in progress. Reacting to that, Afridi once again took a dig at India by claiming that educated people don't behave in this manner.
"You find out who your friends are at difficult times. What are they trying to show the world that they are educated? Educated people don't behave in such a manner," Afridi said.
While the Indian government has already taken measures to isolate Pakistan, the BCCI is also mulling the idea of boycotting Pakistan at the ICC World Cup in England & Wales, later this year. Amidst all that, Afridi, rather than behaving like an ideal sports icon, has got Indian fans up in arms.
Hahahahahaha zahil and fixer quom of the asia .giving lecture on education ð¤£ð¤£ð¤£ð¤£ð¤£ð— à¤¬à¥à¤¨ kumar..ð®ð³ (@valorbharat) February 20, 2019
It's obvious how crude the Pakistani cricketers thinking is......— Sid Gautam / à°¸à°¿à°§à°¾à°°à±à°¦ à°à±à°¤à°®à± (@SidGaut22547984) February 21, 2019
Abe Lala @SAfridiOfficial, lost ur respect totally. World knows who's educated and who's terrorist.— Muthuraj M (@MMuthuraj1980) February 20, 2019
Who told that ediot that we are your friend,,,ð¤ð¤ð¤ð¤— Harshit Kumar (@Er_kumarharshit) February 20, 2019
Speaking of educated people... pic.twitter.com/Yf95m0eD1b— Kaustubh Pathak (@KPathak93) February 20, 2019
Says a guy who couldn't write crystal clear in one attempt— ashwin agarwal (@ashwinguru) February 20, 2019
Pakistan harboring the Osamas and the Masood Azhars of the world, talking about EDUCATION?— Bhupesh Sahu (@Nazgul_BS) February 21, 2019
Zahil.of the century spotted pic.twitter.com/0RcBJjToBU— à¤¬à¥à¤¨ kumar..ð®ð³ (@valorbharat) February 20, 2019