Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi has condemned the arrest of an Indian student for wearing a shirt bearing his name, saying the development was “shameful”. As per reports, 21-year-old Ripon Chowdhury was on Sunday arrested in Hailakandi, a small town in Assam, while watching a local cricket tournament after his shirt angered a Hindu nationalist group.
“It was shameful to arrest a fan for wearing my shirt,” Afridi was quoted as saying by the Dawn. The out-of-favour all-rounder said fans in both India and Pakistan put the sport above the often-fraught relations between their countries and admired each others’ players.
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“You cannot stop fans from supporting a player by arresting them,” he said.
“Sports and politics should be kept apart and such incidents go against the principles of sportsmanship.”
Earlier in February, a similar incident took place when a Pakistani fan of swashbuckling Indian batsman Virat Kohli was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for hoisting the Indian flag on the roof of his house, before the court granted him bail in Okara, Punjab.
Political tensions between two nuclear-armed neighbours have not allowed a Test series against each other since 2007.
Although Pakistan had toured India in December 2012 for a short limited-over series, they failed to resume full ties cricket, including Tests.