Shahid Afridi defends self over ‘naswar’ chewing allegations at Martyr’s Day event

While some trolled him for allegedly taking ‘naswar’, there were others who thought it was not a big deal to be worried about.

Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shubham Ghosh

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Even after retiring from the game of cricket, Shahid Afridi never falls short of making the headlines. The former Pakistani captain and all-rounder recently found himself at the centre of a controversy over alleged chewing  ‘naswar’ (tobacco snuff) during a state celebration and he has now defended himself.

Afridi, who has scored over 11,000 runs and taken over 500 wickets for Pakistan in international cricket, attended the Defence and Martyr’s Day celebration at the General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, on September 6 and a video of him allegedly chewing ‘naswar’ at the event went viral on the internet.

Afridi’s act at Martyr’s Day event got a divided response

In the clip, the 38-year-old was seen covertly putting the stuff under his top lip. The ceremony, which had Prime Minister Imran Khan as the chief guest besides other politicians, bureaucrats, lawmakers, families of martyrs and others, was broadcast by the Pakistan Television. Although the former dashing batsman is not known to be a tobacco user, some social media users speculated that he was using ‘naswar’ at that moment.

Netizens were however divided over Afridi’s act. While some trolled him for allegedly taking ‘naswar’, there were others who thought it was not a big deal to be worried about.

Here is the video:

Afridi came to his own defence at a press conference on Saturday saying he was rather eating fennel seeds and clove and not ‘naswar’. In the video, however, his body language while consuming the stuff looked stealthy.

Afridi, who made his international debut for Pakistan at the age of 16 in 1996, had slammed a 36-ball century in his very first tournament against Sri Lanka. He went to represent his country for two decades thereafter, scoring 11 hundreds and taking 10 five-wicket hauls. He played 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan and currently plays only in the Pakistan Super League.

Every year, Pakistan celebrates September 6 as the Defence and Martyr’s Day to pay tributes to the martyrs of the country’s 1965 war with India. Top dignitaries, including the prime minister and army chief, attend programmes on the occasion.

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