India were reluctant to play Pak, whines Afridi

I should have been the player of the tournament

 Even though the arch-rivals did not meet in the main tournament, they featured in a sold-out warm up match and Afridi alleged Dhoni and his men did not look keen to play Pakistan even though they claimed so.

“I was a bit disappointed. It didn’t appear to me by the attitude of the Indian players that they want to play against us,” Afridi said after arriving home on Wednesday morning.

“On the face, they said they would like to see cricket between the two countries but I think in their hearts they thought otherwise. Their attitude and behaviour while playing against us showed this,” Afridi said.

Pakistan and India have frozen bilateral cricket ties since the Mumbai terror attacks last November with the Indians cancelling a scheduled Test tour earlier this year.

Afridi said he still believed that cricket could heal relations between the two nations and bring people together.

“I always say use sports to foster good relations and remove misunderstandings,” said Afridi.

He said Pakistan had proved critics wrong by winning the World Cup when everyone had tipped India and South Africa as favourites.

ICC slammed

Afridi has criticised the ICC for holding the next Twenty20 World Cup just nine months later and ignoring him for the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award.

Afridi said the ICC’s decision to hold the third edition in 2010 has left the team with very little time to celebrate their victory.

“There is no proper gap between the two tournaments for us to enjoy our victory. I don’t know why the ICC has done this, but to me it seems cricket today is more like a business than a sport,” Afridi said.

The 29-year-old all-rounder also admitted that inspite of his stellar performances in the T20 World Cup, he was littzle disappointed at not winning the player of the tournament award instead of Tillekaratne Dilshan.

“I was not expecting them to ignore me for the player of the tournament award. I had scored over 160 runs and taken 11 wickets. My fielding was also top class and I was surprised when I didn’t win this award,” he said.

Security in a tizzy

Meanwhile, Afridi sent securitymen in a tizzy when he chose to ignore their advice of leaving the airport by a side entrance and decided to mingle with the fans instead. Seeing the huge crowd, securitymen advised Afridi to use a side entrance due to safety reasons but the all-rounder refused, saying he could not disappoint the fans.

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