Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi and controversial opener Ahmed Shehzad were involved in a tense discussion during a live interview recently. During that interview, Shahid said that he had supported Shehzad wholeheartedly when he captained the Men in Green as another opener of his caliber was nowhere to be found in Pakistan. At the same time, Afridi also alleged that Ahmed was constantly targeted because of him supporting the batter which was completely misinterpreted as a case of favoritism.
Shehzad has not been in the scheme of things of the Pakistani selectors and team management since 2019 and the emergence of some good batters in the last couple of years supposedly has closed all the doors for him to make a strong comeback despite trying his level best to get a second chance on the cricket field. While speaking to Samaa TV, Afridi urged Shehzad not to get carried away by distractions and controversies and instead score runs consistently and spend quality time with his family. “I want you to score runs, enjoy your life with your wife and kids. Allah has made life beautiful for you”, Afridi said.
However, Shehzad did not take this feedback in the right spirit and lashed out at the veteran all-rounder asking if would he be scoring all those runs at home when he is not even getting any opportunities in the first place? “I keep saying that. I want to score runs, but at least don’t deny me the platforms where I can score. I will ask you when sides in PSL want to pick me, who comes in and says no? You tell me, where do I score runs? At my home? (Runs kaha karu, ghar pe?)” Shehzad was regarded as the next big thing in Pakistan cricket during the early phase of his career when he used to score runs consistently. However, he was involved in a few controversies that went on to affect his game.
He was heard making religious comments while interacting with veteran Sri Lankan all-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan during a bilateral series in 2014. During a PSL 2016 group fixture, Shehzad and Wahab Riaz were involved in a physical altercation. After being bowled by Riaz, an irate Shehzad threatened by pointing his bat at the fast bowler which made Riaz lose his cool and push the batter. A timely intervention from the players and the on-field umpires helped in bringing the situation under control. Both players were issued an official warning and were also heavily fined.