Angry Afridi demands ‘obscene’ parts cut from the movie ‘Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’
The big-hitting all-rounder had given his blessing to “Main Hoon Shahid Afridi” (“I am Shahid Afridi”) but is now worried that some aspects may lead young viewers astray.
The $1 million Pakistan-made movie tells the story of a young man who dreams of becoming as great a player as Afridi, and the trials he faces as he tries to follow in his hero’s footsteps.
Afridi, who hails from Pakistan’s deeply conservative tribal district of Khyber on the Afghan border, was furious at a scene in which the hero hugs and kisses a girl in a nightclub.
The scene was shown in trailers for the film on various TV channels.
“I had given permission for the film with an aim to give kids some positive healthy entertainment, to divert their minds towards cricket and it should not have obscene things,” said Afridi, 33.
“I want to tell the people that the film is not related to my life.”
Afridi, who shot to stardom in 1996 aged 16 when he hit a world record one-day international hundred off 37 balls, said he wanted the producer to cut the scene.
“A lot of kids and families would go to watch the movie because of me and if they see things like that they will feel bad, so I hope they remove those scenes and run the film,” he said.
The movie had already suffered technical glitches which pushed its release forward from the slated Eid holiday weekend, which is a popular time for producers to release their films.
Producer Humayun Saeed, a top actor in Pakistan, initially wanted Afridi to take the lead role, but the cricketer said it would not be in keeping with the traditions of his tribe.
Afridi said he was also concerned because the film’s promotional material wrongly suggested he had acted in the film.
“I had declined the offer to act because my elders are against acting, nor did I charge a single penny from them,” he said.
The movie is a big budget production and was highly anticipated ahead of other rivals being released around Eid.