Home > Features >

Shahid Afridi, please show some respect for the women of your country

Shahid Afridi's comments on women cricketers from Pakistan reeks of the patriarchial bias in the sport © Getty Images
Shahid Afridi’s comments on women cricketers from Pakistan reeks of the patriarchal bias in the sport © Getty Images

Shahid Afridi gave a television interview in which he was chauvinistically dismissive about women’s cricket. Sudatta Mukherjee questions the attitude of the outspoken Afridi — father of four daughters.

A friend of mine sent me link to a YouTube video clip in which Shahid Afridi is interviewed by Pakistan’s ARY News TV. When the anchor asked Afridi about his view on women’s playing cricket in Peshawar, Afridi replied derisively: “Our women have magic in their hands; they are good cooks.”

The anchor laughed it off and and wanted to follow up with another question, when Afridi curtly cut him off,“Thank you. You got your answer.”

For a cricketer who has represented Pakistan in 475 matches across all formats, the statement was a shocker. The reply smacked of chauvinism and showed scant respect for international women’s cricket and cricketers. That the statement came from a father of four daughters makes it even more condemnable. If indeed he did not have anything positive to say, the least he could have simply said “no comments”.

For a man who has travelled the across the globe, Afridi could have appreciated the hardships women cricketers face in his country compared to their counterparts in the Western nations. He could have emerged as worldly man by saluting the likes of Sana Mir and Kiran Baluch who are ornaments in Pakistan women’s cricket.

Women cricketers have been a deprived lot — not just in Pakistan, but also in India. The last time Pakistan played a Test match was in 2004. Worse, Pakistan women have played only three Test matches since their Test debut. The last time India played a Test match was in 2006.

Tim Wigmore writes in the New Statesman, “The fledgling Afghan women’s cricket squad have been labelled prostitutes and preached against by imams.” In an interview to the New Statesman, Diana Barakzai, captain of the Afghanistan women’s team said, “Playing cricket for a girl is not less than suicide.”

The attitude towards women’s cricket is sickening not just in the subcontinent. The extremely good-looking Ellyse Perry became an object of sexual ridicule, when her picture was shared after she had scored some 90 odd runs. The comments varied from sexual innuendos to asking whether she can cook.

Afridi can defend himself by saying he has a right to his personal opinion. But is he right? For a man as high-profile as he is, isn’t it important he sends out the right message as an ambassador of his country?

One wonders if he still will have the same disparging comments should one of his daugthers take up the game and represent the country.

Shahid Afridi, you have just lost a fan. And I dare say there are many more like me.

(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played Table Tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter id is @blackrosegal)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

KKR vs Dolphins, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Jasprit Bumrah: Sachin Tendulkar giving me my debut cap was my most memorable moment with Mumbai Indians

Sachin Tendulkar fans turn Durga Puja pandal into cricket stadium

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab KKR vs Dolphins Kolkata Knight Riders

England always had faith in Alastair Cook, says James Anderson

Rameez Raja feels ICC should modify bowling rules to let ‘Doosra’ survive

Afghanistan invites top cricketing nations to play cricket at their backyard

High Court forms selection committees for Rajasthan cricketers

Rohit Sharma ruled out of India-West Indies ODI series

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Jayasinghrao “Mamasaheb” Ghorpade: Royal connections, loyal to Baroda

Hedley Verity’s ‘lucky escape’ during the Bodyline series

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: KXIP likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Bang Bang vs Kick: Will Hrithik Roshan be able to cross Salman Khan at the Box Office?

Rameez Raja feels ICC should modify bowling rules to let ‘Doosra’ survive

Asian Games 2014 Live Updates: Indian eves enter final of Kabaddi Final, assure silver medal

Windows 10 Technical Preview now available, here’s how to download it

Why a steady heartbeat is bad for you

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

NGOs pursue education for all

Karan Johar: Controversies are like tennis balls!

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to launch in India on October 10

6 changes that take place in your breasts during pregnancy

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here