A miffed Pakistan Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi today abandoned a press conference midway in Lahore after he had a verbal spat with a reporter leading to a partial protest by the media demanding an apology from the flamboyant all-rounder.
The mediapersons raised slogans against Afridi outside the dressing room at the Gaddafi stadium before a practice match after the spat took place earlier in a press conference addressed by the senior cricketer.
The ugly incident sparked off after a reporter of a television channel asked Afridi what he planned to do as a captain to win the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 since his record as a leader was very poor.
“Your record has not been as impressive as previous Pakistan Twenty20 captains, do you think there is a need to change the way you are leading the side?” the reporter asked Afridi.
Afridi smiled and then let loose: “I expected you to ask such a ‘ghatia’ (pathetic and low) question.”
He then left the press briefing, prompting the reporters to protest against his behaviour.
The media later protested loudly against Afridi outside the dressing room demanding an apology from him before team manager Intikhab Alam came out and pacified them.
Asked PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan about the Afridi incident and reports that batsman Umar Akmal had misbehaved with his coach Basit Ali during the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in Karachi, he said these were minor issues.
“These are matters that can be sorted out and I don’t think we need to dwell into them more,” Shaharyar said.
Earlier, Afridi had told reporters that he had backed Mohammad Aamir only because he felt the youngster was telling the truth and had now reformed himself after the spot-fixing scandal of 2010.
“I backed Aamir because early on he came to me and admitted his mistake and apologised. Then all these years he kept quiet and performed when he got a chance so he deserved a second chance,” Afridi said.
Afridi, however, came down hard on two other players punished for spot-fixing — Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif — and said their case is different and they should look at their own behaviour before thinking about representing Pakistan again.
“Salman and Asif should look at themselves. They lied to the whole nation for two, three years, and then they criticised Pakistan team on television sitting in different shows,” he said.