Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was caught in the middle of a storm on Twitter when he shared an image of his daughter copying his signature wicket taking celebration style. What’s unusual about it? Well, the image was clicked at Afridi’s house where a lion can be seen sitting behind his daughter. “Great to spend time with loved ones. Best feeling in the world to have my daughter copy my wicket-taking celebrations. And yes don’t forget to take care of animals, they too deserve our love and care,” the tweet read.
The fans loved the cute antics of Afridi’s daughter but their attention was grabbed by a lion in the background in the picture. Fans were confused whether it was a real lion or not! Later, a few more images of it were shared by people on social media platforms which confirmed that it indeed was a real lion. A Pakistani journalist shared an image where Afridi is sitting next to the lion which is tied in chains.
“When a lion met a cricketing lion,” the caption of the image read.
While some of Afridi’s fans compared him to the lion, the image drew severe outrage from animal activists as well.
Great to spend time with loved ones. Best feeling in the world to have my daughter copy my wicket taking celebrations. And yes don’t forget to take care of animals, they too deserve our love and care 🙂 pic.twitter.com/CKPhZd0BGD
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 9, 2018
When a lion met a cricketing lion pic.twitter.com/9wFK2bJaN3
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 10, 2018
This is very poor stuff from @SAfridiOfficial – why will you do this? Some animals aren’t to be kept as pets. They are to be left in their natural habitat.
– Poor lion chained up in a poor condition. Free the lion! pic.twitter.com/u12kRsfBWO
— Kalim Khan (@Kallerz37) June 10, 2018
If u care so much for animals stop eating biryani made from them..
— YogeshH (@YogeshHukame) June 12, 2018
The lion will probably be better off with Afridi then being caught or hunted! Getting better fed then Sharifs lion right?
— shezy.shez (@shez_shezy) June 11, 2018
This isn’t very nice mr boom boom Afridi to keep mr lion for ur amusement
— Tommy (@autolunchbox) June 11, 2018
If care for them you should know lion belongs to jungle his natural habitat where he would be much happier then living on tiles.
— Mohd. Taha Hussain (@MohdTahaHussain) June 11, 2018
Another Pakistan journalist later shared a response from Afridi claiming that it wasn’t his lion and was brought to his house for showing it to his kids. The statement added that the owner has an authorised license of keeping them. However, the journalist added that the statement is unconfirmed and unverified but ‘seems’ genuine.
“Apparently this is @SAfridiOfficial’s response – unconfirmed and unverified, but seems genuine. The animals do not belong to him and the owner has an authorised license of keeping them,” his tweet read.
Afridi had burst onto the scene in 1996 smashing a 37-ball one-day century against Sri Lanka in only his second match to set a world record that was unbeaten for 18 years. He played 398 ODIs for Pakistan scoring 8,064 runs, the highest score of 124 and took 395 wickets.
In 27 Tests, he scored 1,176 runs with the highest score of 156 and 48 wickets. He was highly successful in the shortest format of the game where he scored 1,405 runs in 98 matches and picked up 97 wickets. Afridi announced his retirement from international cricket in February 2017.