ISLAMABAD: Pakistani all-rounder and former skipper Shahid Khan Afridi has said he was ready to mentor Saudi Arabian cricketers if the kingdom sought his help.
The comments come in the wake of a meeting between the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, and Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, Dr Fehmida Mirza, this month in which they discussed cooperation in the field of sports, with a focus on cricket.
“If I get a request [to train Saudi Arabian cricketers] I will definitely go as this is our own country and the people are our own,” Afridi said in an interview with Arab News.
“I have been to Saudi Arabia previously,” he said, detailing his many trips to the Kingdom. “In my opinion there should be cricket in Saudi Arabia. There is our Pakistani community, which also likes to play cricket,” he said, referring to three million Pakistani expats who reside in the kingdom.
Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, Dr Fehmida Mirza, said this week that Pakistan was working on “practical steps” to collaborate with Saudi Arabia to promote sports in the Kingdom, particularly cricket.
“I believe in sports diplomacy,” Mirza told Arab News in an interview.
“The matter of cooperation in cricket has been taken with Ehsan Mani, chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board. We are working on practical steps to collaborate in promotion of sports, especially cricket.”