Shahid Afridi, a former Pakistan cricketer, has expressed his disappointment with the on-field behavior of Mohammad Amir during the first two matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League season eight. Afridi reportedly scolded Amir through text messages after he lost his cool during a match between Karachi Kings and Islamabad United. Amir had an on-field clash with emerging batsman Hassan Nawaz, and he also exchanged heated words with Tom Curran during the same match.
In an interview on a local TV channel, Afridi said that he messaged Amir respectfully but also scolded him, asking him what he was trying to achieve with his behavior. He reminded Amir of the respect he had earned after returning to cricket from a blot on his reputation and advised him to avoid unnecessary antics that could tarnish his image.
Afridi expressed concern that Amir's on-field behavior was setting a bad example for juniors and disheartening fans who watch him play. He urged Amir to control his aggression and keep it under control, while also acknowledging that he had been guilty of using bad words in the past.
“Whenever a player doesn't perform, or even if he does, I drop him a message for call him. Likewise, I messaged Amir yesterday. I talked to him respectfully, but I also scolded him. I told Amir, ‘what do you want?’ You have gained so much respect, you faced a blot on your reputation and from there, you made a return. You got a new life, in a way. What are you even trying to do?”
“Is this the way to play? There are juniors around you, you are using bad words. There are fans who are disheartened to see that. Even we have used such words and sometimes, the camera used to catch us. There are families, kids watching you on television. Aggression is fine, but keep it under control,”
Afridi also mentioned Amir's clash with Pakistan captain Babar Azam during a match against Peshawar Zalmi earlier in the week. After Babar flicked Amir for a boundary, the left-arm pacer threw the next ball towards him in frustration. Afridi reminded Amir that if he wanted to play for Pakistan, he would have to play alongside Babar and asked him if he could look him in the eye or play under his captaincy.
As per Afridi, he said to Amir,
“If you want to play for Pakistan, you have to play alongside Babar only. Will you be able to look at him in the eye? Can you play under his captaincy? Focus on your performance, control your aggression, and go back home peacefully,”
Amir reportedly understood Afridi's criticism and apologized for his behavior, thanking him for noticing it. Afridi concluded by urging Amir to focus on his performance and to go back home peacefully.