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Saturday June 15, 2024

What did Afridi say about Kohli's views on visiting Pakistan?

Shehroze Kashif deletes his video owing to the controversy

By Atique Ur Rehman
May 19, 2024
Pakistans former skipper Shahid Afridi pictured alongside Indias Virat Kohli. — AFP/File
Pakistan's former skipper Shahid Afridi pictured alongside India's Virat Kohli. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Pakistan's former captain Shahid Afridi has finally opened up on Indian cricketer Virat Kohli's views on visiting Pakistan.

Speaking at a tape ball event in Karachi on Saturday, Afridi said, "I expected such a statement from Virat. I welcome Kohli, whether he comes to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) or with the Indian team."

Afridi's comments come after Pakistani mountaineer Shehroze Kashif posted a video of his conversation with Kohli wherein the star batter could be heard expressing hope of visiting Pakistan.

"Give my regards to your family and all your friends. Hopefully, we [will] visit Pakistan soon [as] everyone has started visiting now," Kohli can be heard saying in the video.

The video which dates back to 2022, has since then been deleted by Kashif, owing to the controversy that arose and in light of his personal contacts in the neighbouring country. 

"I had to delete the video because of my personal contacts in India with whom I'm very good friends with and they requested me to do so.

"Please don't blow this out of proportion. Let’s keep things in perspective and not create unnecessary issues [...]It's disheartening to see such insecurity over a fan simply talking to their favourite athlete," the caption read on his social media posts.

"This is also affecting Kohli," Kashif said in a video posted on his social media accounts saying that it was "so nice" of the Indian batter reach out after reading some articles about him.

"Its actually sad and I'm very disappointed," the mountaineer said, stressing that unfortunately what could've been used to convey a positive message was in fact interpreted negatively.

"We should've taken this as a positive message rather than creating a controversy around such a great player," he said while referring to the coverage being given to the Indian batter in the Indian news media.

Stressing that Pakistani sports personalities are not insecure on their interaction with their Indian counterparts, Kashif said that there are no boundaries in sports.