Afridi down with 'slight fever', skips practice

After having being criticised in Pakistan for his comments about the love he received from India, Shahid Afridi skipped his team's practice session on Wednesday. His absence, though, was attributed to a bout of fever.

Shahid Afridi during Pakistan's training session on Sunday, March 13.   -  PTI

A day after creating a furore back home with his “love for India” statement, Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi today skipped the team’s training session, citing “fever”, ahead of its ICC World Twenty20 opener against Bangladesh, scheduled for Wednesday. For his statement that he got 'more love' in India than in Pakistan, Afridi received much flak back home on Monday, with the legendary Javed Mianadad blasting him 'shame on you'.

Afridi, meanwhile, >sought to douse the fire by saying that he did not intend to demean his nation and was merely trying to give a 'positive message' by showing respect to the fans here.

Pakistani head coach Waqar Younis however said it’s nothing to do with the controversy and added: “It’s not like that. He was not feeling well in the morning... So it’s better to take rest. It’s hot and humid out there.”

Later, giving an update on Afridi, Pakistani team manager Intikhab Alam said he was running fever in the morning. “He over trained himself yesterday. He’s had slight fever in the morning and we opted to give him rest,” Alam said as the rest of the Pakistani camp trained for more than two hours in the morning.

The highlight of the training session was pacer Mohammad Sami, who did rounds of the stadium and seemed to have recovered from his toe injury.

Sami, who was hit on his toes by a local bowler during their practice on Sunday, missed the team's warm-up match against Sri Lanka yesterday that it won by 15 runs.