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We are not mercenaries says Afridi

Pakistan’s flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi is not happy with the ‘mercenary’ tag attached to the cricketers appearing in the cash-awash Indian Premier League.

“Yes, the money is good. But this does not mean we will give our lives for it. I think more important is to enjoy your cricket. If the players are earning good money, so are the IPL organisers,” Afridi told Geo News from India.

Afridi is appearing for the Deccan Chargers team, led by VVS Laxman, and failed with the bat in his first outing against Delhi Daredevils.

Afridi said that he was not happy with remarks made by some former players about the way players were auctioned for the IPL. According to him it was a case of sour grapes.

“I don’t see anything wrong with that. Owners wanted certain players for their teams and they paid the best price for them.

“I think the problem is the people criticising us are those who were not bid for and I am sure if some team bid for them they would also be happy,” he said.

The all-rounder fetched the highest bid price for a Pakistani player of USD 675,000. More PTI COR AY PDS 04241833 DEL SPORT AFRIDI 2 LAST Afridi, a devout Muslim, didn’t agree with the concept of skimpily clad cheerleaders dancing during matches and said it was a big distraction for players.

“I wouldn’t support it but I am playing cricket in the IPL and I just want to concentrate on that the rest is up to the organisers,” he said.

Afridi also said the IPL had a lot to live up to because of the successful way the Indian Cricket League had held its tournament.

“The IPL has got off well and I think obviously to succeed they have to put on a better show than the ICL,” he added.

On his form, he said, “Yes, I failed in the first match but I am happy with the way I bowled. I have been giving a lot of attention to my bowling that has developed well. I think my batting is now a bonus and when I click I enjoy it.” Afridi said he was already enjoying his time with the Deccan Chargers team.

“I love being in Hyderabad. And I think since the Hyderabad Heroes won the ICL, the people of Hyderabad expect us to win the IPL and that is a big challenge for us,” he said.

source - expressindia.com
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