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Politics can't define my cordial relation with Kohli: Afridi

Press Trust of India  |  St Moritz (Switzerland) 

Prevailing cross- border tension may have restricted Indo-Pak bilateral cricketing ties but loves to put across a point firmly -- his "cordial relation" with Kohli cannot and will not be defined by political situation.

"My relationship with is not dictated by political situation. is a fantastic human being and an of for his country, just like I am for my country," told during an interaction on the sidelines of the Ice Tournament.

"He (Kohli) has always shown a lot of respect and has even gone out of his way to present a signed jersey for my foundation (Foundation)," he added.

Afridi's foundation has been working in providing clean and safe drinking water for the economically weaker sections of society.

"There is a lot of warmth and fellow-feeling whenever I have spoken to It's not that we get a chance to speak a lot but from time to time, he would drop in a message and I would do the same. I congratulated him recently when I came to know the he was getting married.

"I believe as cricketers we can set examples of how relationship between individuals can be a template for relationship between countries. I think after Pakistan, the two countries where I have received most love and respect are and Australia," said the former

For someone, who was a maverick during his international career, loves Kohli's aggression and believes that supporting juniors in crisis situations has also helped him in earning respect from youngsters.

"is doing a brilliant job. I have no problem with aggression if it is a controlled one. And Virat's character is different from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was a composed individual.

"Now suddenly, you cannot change the inherent nature of a person. Virat's greatest asset is that he can take the team along," observed.

Asked to compare Kohli with Sarfraz Khan, said: "Sarfraz is still new to the job and he will only get better along the way. The only thing I don't like is that media running down players during their rough times.

"As long as you are winning, everything is fine and you lose a game and all hell breaks loose. That is grossly unfair. We should not overlook someone's past achievements just because he is going through a bad patch," said the who has been loved and criticised in equal measure.

During the couple of days of Ice at tournament, at times even beat Virender Sehwag in terms of popularity thanks to the presence of a larger number of expatriate Pakistani fans, who had thronged


The moment he entered the playing area wearing the orange jumper, turned into a 'Lala Land' as everyone wanted a piece of their beloved 'Lala', as Pakistani fans affectionately call

was a different man at different times.

He autographed the posters, even a Tehreek-e- Insaf flag, obliged all the selfie seekers, seemed a tad irritated with multiple one-on-one interview requests, took his wife and youngest daughter out for a walk down the lake and did not even give a second glance at a young Pakistani woman, who in front of everyone shouted "Lala aapse kabhi alag se mil sakti hoon (Can I meet you somewhere else?)."

And yes, he played too and tried to hit out as he would do often during his green jersey days. And the result was more often than not his downfall. It happened the same way but no one cared.

With Shahid Afridi, there are no half measures -- they all love the man more than the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 12:45 IST
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