Lara’s footwork was brilliant: Afridi

Lahore: Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has said that while the world might have felt nervous bowling to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, it was former Windies skipper Brian Lara who the leg-spinner had trouble bowling to because of his swift footwork.

‘It would have to be Brian Lara. I got him out a few times but whenever I was bowling to him I always had the feeling in the back of my mind that he is going to hit me for four the next ball. He had an effect on me. I never bowled with any confidence to him,’ Afridi told Wisden.

‘He was a world-class batsman who dominated the best spinners he came up against, even the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan in Sri Lanka. His footwork against spinners was brilliant, and the way he batted against such bowlers was a wonderful sight. He was sheer class,’ Afridi added.

Afridi recently came out in support of former teammate Shoaib Akhtar after the latter was pulled up by the likes of Kapil Dev for suggesting that India should play a series with Pakistan to raise funds to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

‘The entire world is fighting against coronavirus and we need unity in our region to defeat this common enemy. Such negative comments don’t help at all. I don’t see anything wrong with Shoaib Akhtar’s suggestion for Pakistan and India to play cricket.

Kapil’s reaction has surprised me. I expected better from him and feel one should not talk like this in these crisis times. Sport is supposed to bring people together and build bridges. It is pretty disappointing,’ he had said.