Respect versus competition: Twitter is divided on Shaheen Afridi and Sarfaraz Ahmed's on-pitch falling out

Published 16 Jun, 2021 02:19pm

Images Staff

The two clashed in a PSL game between the Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalandars, sparking a debate about seniority.

Twitter erupted in controversy, as it does, when Shaheen Afridi and Sarfaraz Ahmed exchanged seemingly heated words during a PSL game. The incident took place during a game between the Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalandars, when left-arm pacer Afridi rocked much-revered former captain Ahmed.

Ahmed turned around to have a few words with Afridi, who had a few things on his mind as well.

After the delivery hit Ahmed's head, he turned around to exchange a few words with Afridi at the non-striker's end. Afridi, who had begun his walk back for the next delivery, turned around and responded with his hand swinging up to point at Ahmed. Several saw this as Afridi misbehaving with his senior.

But the popular response to that argument was that this was not a matter of respect — cricket is a sport and in a sport, one plays to beat their opponent, or in Afridi's case, to not concede runs. If it were easy to do so, or if it were less dramatic to try an snatch a win for your team, sports wouldn't be as entertaining as it is.

In match it is normal for players to get riled up or get fiery during a competition. Therefore, Ahmed's response was normal — he just burst out at a delivery he couldn't play — and Afridi's turning around was warranted as well — bouncers are an integral part of a fast bowler's handbook after all.

Cricketer Usama Mir, who represents the Karachi Kings in the PSL, made this point, but with a fistful of sarcasm.

This user argued that Afridi behaved how one would expect someone in his situation to — he's a bowler being called out by the opposition batsman for bowling a perfectly legal delivery.

A perfectly legal delivery.

There were, obviously, some mid-way opinions of the more "best of both worlds" variety.

Later, in a post-match interview, Afridi was asked about the incident by former player and current commentator Ramiz Raja. He asked why he had bowled the bouncer and why he had hit Ahmed on the helmet.

"You see Ramiz bhai, it's part of the game. Even I don't wish for someone to hit me for a four, so in the game, this is what a fast bowler's aggression looks like," Afridi explained.

"That's a really good thing, we really like this aggression. If you don't do it, who will?" replied Raja.

What do you think? Was Afridi in the right or should he have dealt with his ex-captain differently?