Shoaib Akhtar responds on criticism from Kapil Dev

Pakistan’s former legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar, in a YouTube video on Saturday, responded to criticism from India’s former all-rounder Kapil Dev after the latter rubbished Akhtar’s proposal of a three-match fundraising Indo-Pak series for the coronavirus (COVID-19) relief efforts.

“Kapil bhai doesn’t need money but everyone else does.” – Shoaib Akhtar

The 44-year-old claimed that it was his duty as a human and as a Muslim to help the people around him to the best of his abilities.

“I had said that I know India more than even Imran Khan himself. I have traveled to many areas and interacted with many people there. I keep telling people here what Indians are all about. Our countries have a lot of poverty. I am saddened when people are suffering. As a human and as a Muslim, it is my responsibility to help as much as I can,” Akhtar said.

Shoaib Akhtar has suggested a Pakistan-India cricketing series to raise funds for the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Getty Images

The Rawalpindi Express believed that his proposal, which received widespread condemnation in India, would be taken into consideration soon, as the situation keeps cricket at a standstill.

“So I was only asking what options we had if nothing happens for the next six months. What will all the people, who are employed because of cricket, do? What will happen to those whose livelihoods depend on cricket? The only option we have is holding a fundraising match. Maybe it leads to betterment in the relationship. I am talking about a larger perspective,” he said.

“I don’t think Kapil bhai understood what I was trying to say. Everyone is going to be trapped economically. This is the time to put our heads together and generate revenues. The global audience would be hooked by a match. Kapil said he doesn’t need the money and he surely doesn’t. But everyone else does. I think this suggestion will come into consideration soon.”

Akhtar stated that he respected Kapil Dev who was a great human being and a senior cricketer but claimed that he was thinking about the larger picture in the global fight against the coronavirus.

“I respect Kapil bhai a lot. He is a great human being and is our senior. He is a very caring person who takes care of his guests. I have been looked after very well in India. They love me a lot. If I think of a country where I have received the most amount of love after Pakistan, it is definitely India.

I am very grateful to them for their love. I try to share my experiences with the world. I am a very patriotic Pakistani. But I talk about a larger picture,” he concluded.

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