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Shahid Afridi sees eating meat, IPL behind positive change in Indian cricket

Shahid Afridi sees eating meat, IPL behind positive change in Indian cricket
  • PublishedOctober 8, 2023

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Pakistans former captain Shahid Afridi. —  AFP/File
Pakistan’s former captain Shahid Afridi. —  AFP/File

Giving a strange logic, Pakistan’s former skipper Shahid Afridi has said that playing the Indian Premier League (IPL) and eating meat is the reason behind their improved performance.

Afridi, 43, was talking on a local sports show when he was asked about the reason why Indian cricket has not only changed but the nation, which is known for producing great batters, has now started to make great bowlers as well.

“India has a huge 1.4 billion population, and the quality of cricket has changed [over the years]. Back then we used to say that they are producing great batters while Pakistan is creating good bowlers, but that was not the case as we were generating both bowlers and batters,” Afridi said.

“However, their bowlers have now started eating meat, so they have gained strength,” he chuckled.

Afridi, who captained the Green Shirts in the 2011 World Cup, credited IPL and former captains like Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and others for improving the quality of cricket in India.

“First Sourav Ganguly made so many changes during his captaincy and then the way MS Dhoni carried all the seniors with him. They [BCCI] invested in the right place.

“They improved their grassroots level cricket by giving the entire domestic system to a player like Rahul Dravid, who knows what the kids [domestic players] need to reach the top. They worked hard, and now they keep on producing talents. If India want, they can create two teams now,” Afridi added.

Over the years, India had not produced great fast bowlers but the trend has changed as, just in the last few years, talents like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj emerged as two of the best pacers in the world.

“They invested at the right place and now the people of India are diverting their attention towards it [bowling]. They built camps and the talent is coming.”

It must be noted that Siraj is ranked the number one bowler in One Day Internationals (ODIs). He was also the one who powered India to a one-sided victory in the Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka by recording his career-best figures of 6-21.

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