Former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi has said he will refuse to let his daughters play outdoor games such as cricket, or compete in public sports.
Writing in his autobiography Game Changer, Afridi said that he would not allow his four daughters to partake in outdoor sports “for social and religious reasons”.
“They have my permission to play any sport as long as they’re indoors,” Afridi wrote.
“Cricket? No, not for my girls.”
Afridi has previously posted photos on Twitter of his daughters playing backyard cricket with him.
Babys day out😘 pic.twitter.com/DDWDMQpxbH
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 1, 2016
“They have permission to play all the indoor games they want but my daughters are not going to be competing in public sporting activities,” Afridi wrote.
“I’ve made this decision and their mother agrees with me.
“The feminists can say what they want.”
Describing himself as a “conservative Pakistani father”, Afridi claimed that he expected a backlash for his views.
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) May 5, 2019
The 44-year-old limited-overs specialist played 398 ODIs and 99 T20 Internationals for Pakistan, as well as 27 Test matches.
He described his two older daughters, Aqsa and Ansha, as being “great at sports and even better in academics”, with the younger pair Ajwa and Asmara as loving to play dress-up.
In a Twitter post, BBC journalist Fifi Haroon said Afridi’s views were “terrible” and “disrespectful”, whilst acclaimed Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui added, “What a misogynist”.
Wajahat Khan, who ghost-wrote the book with Afridi, defended the former player in an interview with HTN News Network, despite not sharing his point of view.
“I think it should be taken in the wider context of the work he really does as a human being, as a philanthropist,” Mr Khan said.
“This part, I had warned him, that the feminists might burn a few bras at your door … but nuance your argument.
“Shahid is a philanthropist … in no way is he trying to make a politically incorrect statement.
“He’s educating his four girls, he’s educating hundreds of other girls [through the Shahid Afridi Foundation] and it was not my job to put words in his mouth.
“I have a completely different opinion. My girls can do whatever the heck they want to do.”
Earlier in the book, Afridi said his father was not happy with his own interest in cricket, writing “he was angry with me for hoping to play cricket as a profession”.
Afridi also revealed his real age, stating he was born in 1975, not 1980 as had previously been reported.
However, there is still some confusion.
Afridi exploded onto the international cricket scene with a 37-ball hundred in his first ODI batting innings in an 82-run demolition of Sri Lanka in Nairobi.
At the time, it was reported he was 16 years old, but in the book he claims he was 19.
If his birth date of 1975 is correct, as is also stated in the book he was actually 20 or 21.