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September 9, 2018

Afridi denies reports of taking ‘naswar’ during Defence Day ceremony


September 9, 2018

LAHORE: Shahid Afridi denied reports of him taking naswar stating he was having fennel seeds during the Defence Day ceremony.

Afridi responded to allegations that he was chewing ‘tobacco’ during the Martyr’s Day celebration at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. On September 6, Afridi attended the ceremony and a video of him at the event went viral. In the video, Afridi could be seen sitting in the audience and covertly tucking what was said to be ‘naswar’ under his top lip. However, Afridi has said that he was not chewing ‘naswar’ but eating saumph and laung (fennel seeds and clove). Afridi was ridiculed for his action on social media.

During a media interaction, Afridi was asked if he was, in fact, chewing ‘nawar’ during the ceremony. The cricketer responded saying he was eating fennel seeds and clove. On a query on age factor, he said age issue though doesn’t concern a player but for veteran Sadiq Muhammad is too old to hold the manager’s post for the Under-19 team of Pakistan. Afridi, who played 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan and scored over 11,000 runs and took over 500 wickets, plays in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), now. He currently represents Karachi Kings after playing for Peshawar Zalmi for a couple of seasons.

“I respect Sadiq Muhammad but he is too old for the post,” the former all-rounder said. Sadiq, a member of Pakistan’s famous cricketing family of the Muhammads, is over 73 years of age. It was one of Sadiq’s brother Hanif who had played a marathon inning of 337 against the West Indies in Bridgetown in 1957-58 to help his side draw the game. The innings survived over 16 hours.

It was recently announced that the Pakistan U-19 team will have as its coach Azam Khan while other members of the coaching unit will include, besides Muhammad, assistant coach Muhtashim Rasheed and fielding coach Sadiq Faqir. The team has its physiotherapist in Usman Ghani, the trainer in Saboor Ahmad and analyst Usman Hasmi. They will assist the side for the upcoming U-19 Asia Cup.

Afridi said someone younger should have been given the manager’s job for the U-19 team but by saying that, he did not mean that the septuagenarian, who played 41 Tests and 19 ODIs between 1969 and 1981, should be ignored. “Muhammad should be given some other responsibility in the Pakistan Cricket Board,” Afridi said, adding that the U-19 team’s manager’s job should go to either Misbah-ul-Haq or Younis Khan.

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