The inaugural T20 league in Sri Lanka has rolled out on a high with 8 matches already played. With just five teams in the Lanka Premier League 2020, the tournament has already produced some exhilarating moments despite featuring out of business heavyweights. And amidst all the action, Pakistan’s former skipper Shahid Afridi has turned out to be the cynosure.
After missing a flight to Sri Lanka, Afridi has now again found the headlines in the role of a pacifier. On Monday, Afridi’s Galle Gladiators were beaten by the Kandy Taskers. The talk of the match, however, was young Afghanistan bowler Naveen-ul-Haq’s temper flare-up. Defending 196, Naveen was asked to bowl the last over. Bowling to Gladiators’ tail-ender Mohammad Amir, the young Afghan lost his cool and was evidently caught exchanging a word with the Pakistani bowler.
Gladiators were well short of their target and refrained from losing more wickets. Once the match was wrapped-up, Amir, naturally furious, was seen launching some verbal volleys at the 21-year-old Afghan as he walked off the field, with Naveen-ul-Haq too refusing to back down.
As the teams concluded the match with their customary handshake, Afridi, the captain of the Gladiators, was seen throwing some lecture to the Afghan as they neared to shake their hands.
My advise to the young player was simple, play the game and don’t indulge in abusive talk. I have friends in Afghanistan team and we have very cordial relations. Respect for teammates and opponents is the basic spirit of the game. https://t.co/LlVzsfHDEQ
Not that Afridi was in a mood to escalate the situation, he rather had a piece of advice for the 21-year-old Naveen. Later on his Twitter handle, Afridi clarified, “My advise to the young player was simple, play the game and don’t indulge in abusive talk. I have friends in Afghanistan team and we have very cordial relations. Respect for teammates and opponents is the basic spirit of the game.”
The Gladiators rode Kusal Mendis and Brendon Taylor’s breezy cameos to post 196 on board, conceding five wickets. For the Tuskers, opener Danushka Gunathilaka stood tall with the bat as returned with 82 off 53. Gladiators fell 26 runs short of their target.