When he was on the field, Shahid Afridi set the stands on fire with his superman-like hits that sent the cricket ball flying out of the park like a cannonball. Ditto for his bowling – he deployed a vast arsenal of styles against the best of batsmen, leaving them baffled as the ball cut its way to uproot the wickets they guarded like sentinels. Simply put, there was no stopping the Pakistani great on his day.
What fans also remember is Afridi’s celebration each time he took a wicket. Arms outstretched, legs parted, ‘Boom, Boom’ Afridi stood like a victor in a gladiatorial battle where his hapless victim walked away with a hanging head.
Thus fans of the legendary all-rounder were in for a nostalgic treat when Afridi’s daughter struck a pose that mimicked her father’s. But what didn’t go unnoticed was a rather scary reality – the photo had a lion right behind the girl.
On 9 June, the 38-year-old Afridi posted two photos. While one showed him feeding a deer, the other had his daughter, Asmara, striking the famous pose with the lion, which is seen chained, in the background.
In his message, Afridi wrote: “Great to spend time with loved ones. Best feeling in the world to have my daughter copy my wicket taking celebrations. And yes don’t forget to take care of animals, they too deserve our love and care :)”
Great to spend time with loved ones. Best feeling in the world to have my daughter copy my wicket taking celebrations. And yes don’t forget to take care of animals, they too deserve our love and care 🙂 pic.twitter.com/CKPhZd0BGD
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 9, 2018
While many praised the cricketer’s message and his daughter’s pose, some took umbrage to the chained lion kept as a ‘pet’ pointing out that is both dangerous and inhuman.
This is horrible. How can you keep an exotic animal in a house?
Even with a license how have you managed to create an environment he needs
This is cruelty against the lion.
If at all put him in a proper Zoo.
— sophia ahmed (@sophiaahmed) June 9, 2018
Where is this? Come how there are wild animals in unnatural environment? Isnit legal?
— afia salam (@afiasalam) June 9, 2018
Put wild animals back in their habitat. Stop trying to domesticate them it isn’t allowed
— Meph⚓ (@UnitedsFreak) June 10, 2018
Chaining up a lion is not showing love to animals. Please release him to the Wild. Lions are born to roam freely in the jungle & not be held captive for your amusement. #animalrights
— Mia Utopian (@mia__utopian) June 9, 2018
The lion shouldn’t be amongst people and it should not be tied up like that
— Sabeen Syed🌏 (@SabeenGeopol) June 10, 2018
Shahid Afridi has a pet lion who is confined at his home and it’s chained, this is so barbaric and inhumane poor creature should be in its natural habitat, running & hunting . where are animals protection organisations. Fuck your wealth & fame if it doesn’t give you compassion
— Rainbow (@pavlovscat8) June 9, 2018
According to a Pakistani daily, the pictures were taken in Afridi’s Karachi residence. He has previously posed with that lion.
When a lion met a cricketing lion pic.twitter.com/9wFK2bJaN3
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 10, 2018
Afridi has four daughters – Aqsa, Ajwa, Ansha and Asmara.