Afridi wants to set-up a cricket academy in Kashmir
File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Dec 29 (APP): Former Pakistani Skipper Shahid Afridi wants to set up a cricket academy in Kashmir as to bring the Kashmiri children to the game of cricket.

Addressing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Kashmir Premier League (KPL) and Shahid Afridi Foundation here at a local hotel on Tuesday, he said he has been a part of many leagues but wanted to be a part of KPL. “I will try my best to do as much as I can for KPL.

My heart wants me to play with every KPL franchise.

The condition I have put on myself for playing in KPL is that a cricket academy will be set up in Kashmir,” he said.

“I request everyone to fully support KPL. Apart from sports, I will also work in Kashmir in terms of health sector. If matches are held inside Kashmir, then Kashmir will benefit from it,” he said.

The flamboyant all-rounder said the league was a great event.

“It is an honor for me to be the brand ambassador of this league. I will bring Kashmir children to cricket and will set up a cricket academy there. The Foundation will support good talent,” he said.

Afridi who had earlier visited Kashmir said it as the Heaven on Earth. “India has crossed all levels of oppression in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

We should raise our voice if we see injustice happening anywhere in the world,” he said.
The former Skipper said he doesn’t care if he gets a job in the neighboring country or not.

“The time will surely come when Kashmiris will be free. It is the responsibility of the rulers to raise their voice again and again for the rights of Kashmiris,” he said.

He said KPL would open doors to new opportunities for the people. “People were saying that I want to be the Prime Minister, when I was working during the days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giving the deserving people their due rights is a bigger task than politics and I will continue to do so.

I want to work for humanity and the work I am doing, I will be the Prime Minister in my own life,” he said.

Afridi said there were also health crisis in Kashmir and he would work for it too.

“KPL matches in Kashmir will be beneficial. Even if the lights are not on, matches can be held in Muzaffarabad during the day,” he said and added that the President and Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir should come forward for KPL.

He said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) job was to groom the players as well as themselves. “In the past, I, Shoaib Akhtar and Abdul Razzaq had a similar case like Muhammad Amir,” he said.

On the occasion, KPL Chairman Arif Malik said trials for the league would be held on January 5 in Mirpur, January 6 in Bagh and January 7 in Muzaffarabad.

“Thousands of youngsters will take part in the trials. Through KPL, young players will play in the domestic team and then in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Fundraising will also be held during KPL,” he said.

“KPL aims to align the societal development with the cricketing activity creating a platform which would positively encompass the people and land of Kashmir.

KPL signed MOU with the Shahid Afridi foundation with the aim of transforming the lives of unprivileged communities.

We already have Afridi on board as our brand ambassador for the League and he already has a personal association and empathy for Kashmir and its people,” he said

KPL CEO Ch. Shahzad Akhtar also shared his thoughts and highlighted the importance of KPL for the Kashmiri Community and said this would be a landmark event for the region.

Other designated guests included Adil Waheed – Owner Mirpur Royal, Muhammad Arshad Khan Tanoli – Owner Muzaffarabad Tigers, Samar Abbas – Member Advisory Council KPL, Amir Nawab – Director Cricket Operations and Tanveer Mughal – Manager Cricket Operations KPL.

KPL comprises of six teams including Rawalakot Hawk, Kotli Panthers, Mirpur Royals, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Overseas Warriors and Bagh Stallions.

The event would be executed in Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Rawalpindi Cricket grounds from April 1 to 10.