Dubai, Mar 30: A day after coach Waqar Younis' public apology, Pakistan's under fire cricket captain Shahid Afridi also sought forgiveness from the people of his country for failing to live upto their expectations during a shambolic World Twenty20 campaign in India.
"I don't care what other people say about me but I am answerable to you (people of Pakistan). Today, I, Shahid Afridi, seek forgiveness from the people of Pakistan for not living upto the expectations that you had from this team and me," Afridi said in a brief video message on his official Twitter page.
I have always been playing cricket for the nation and not for my self.pakistan zindabad👍🏻— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) March 29, 2016
Afridi, who is currently in Dubai, is set to be sacked as captain once he returns to the country. The flamboyant all-rounder is also expected to announce a decision on his cricketing future after the Pakistan Cricket Board made it clear that his place in the side is not guaranteed.
The 36-year-old found himself mired in controversies during Pakistan's World T20 campaign. First, he drew flak in Pakistan for stating that he and his players are loved more in India than back home.
Later, Pakistan lost three of their four group stage games, including a high-voltage clash against arch-foes India, to bow out of the tournament. Amid the dismal on-field run, Afridi stirred up another controversy by specifically thanking Kashmiris for cheering his team in Mohali.
The remark was criticised by the BCCI with Board Secretary Anurag Thakur saying that the cricketer should avoid making political statements. In his video message today, Afridi said he has always played with passion for his country.
"For 20 years I have played this game and I have carried the star on my chest for 20 years. I enter the field with the emotions of the whole country with me. This team was not just a team of 11, it was a team of my whole country," he said.
The mercurial all-rounder played 27 Tests for Pakistan before retiring from the format in 2010 with 1716 runs and 48 wickets. In 398 ODIs, he has 8064 runs and 395 wickets, while 98 T20 International appearances have fetched him 1405 runs and 97 wickets.