“I am against the boycott of the World Cup 2023, Pakistan should visit India: Shahid Afridi

Former Pakistan cricket captain, Shahid Afridi, has expressed his opinion against boycotting the ICC World Cup 2023, urging the Babar Azam-led team to compete in the tournament despite recent tensions between the cricket boards of Pakistan and India. Afridi’s stance highlights his belief in the power of sports to transcend political differences and foster goodwill between nations. While the Pakistan Cricket Board and sports ministry have expressed concerns about the limited fixtures in Pakistan, Afridi emphasizes the importance of participating and aiming for victory in challenging circumstances.

Shahid Afridi firmly opposes boycotting the ICC World Cup 2023 due to the Indian team’s refusal to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023. In his view, boycotting the event would only escalate tensions and hinder opportunities for bilateral cricket relations. Instead, Afridi advocates for embracing the spirit of sportsmanship and using the tournament to strengthen ties and showcase Pakistan’s cricketing prowess.

Afridi acknowledges that playing in India can present challenges for the Pakistani team, based on his personal experiences during his playing days. Recalling incidents where the team’s bus was pelted with stones after their victory in the Bangalore Test, Afridi emphasizes the need for resilience and mental strength in the face of adversity. Despite past difficulties, he believes that Pakistan can overcome the hurdles and emerge victorious on Indian soil, sending a powerful message of unity and determination.

The former captain’s support for Pakistan’s participation in the ICC World Cup 2023 stems from his desire to see the team triumph on the global stage. Afridi believes that competing in India presents an opportunity for Pakistan to demonstrate their skills, talent, and cricketing excellence to the world. By focusing on the game and leaving behind political conflicts, the team can channel their energy into achieving success and bringing joy to their supporters.

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Afridi said, “I am against the boycott of the World Cup. Pakistan should visit India and win the event. I know it is challenging to play over there. We faced difficult times when we traveled to the neighboring country. Our bus was pelted with stones after we defeated India in the Bangalore Test.”

Afridi’s stance reflects his broader vision of using cricket to bridge gaps between nations. While acknowledging the underlying political tensions, he promotes the idea of sports diplomacy, where cricket can catalyze dialogue and understanding. By participating in the ICC World Cup 2023, Pakistan can engage with Indian fans, players, and officials, fostering goodwill and paving the way for future collaborations.

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