Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi has dragged himself in the middle of a controversy yet again after posting a picture of a lion which seemed to be kept in chains at his residence in Karachi.
The all-rounder was slammed on social media for the picture while he was also seen feeding a deer in the post.
Now the Sindh Wildlife (SWL) department has stepped in and it will now probe the presence of the lion at his home.
SWL Conservator Taj Muhammad Shaikh confirmed that the lion’s owner was one Hassan Hussain who also held the animal’s license, adding “we will find out what the lion was doing in Afridi’s home.” The conservator said that the investigation would start after Eid.
Hussain, who owns the animal, said he has the license along with a travel permit. “I even informed the SWL department before taking my lion to Afridi’s home,” he said adding that Afridi has his detractors who are just trying to defame him.
Facing severe backlash Afridi released a statement on Facebook.
“I respect that animals need free space and wildlife for survival however I would like to state facts for the record. These pictures are of my house and not of any zoo, the animals displayed in the pictures were brought to my house for showing it to my kids, the owner has tamed them since they were 2months old and they are this big, they are totally home broughtup, the person who owns them has a license as well. The fact it was chained was just to be on the safe side but where they live is in an entirely free environment,” Boom Boom wrote.
The star cricketer who posted the pictures last week even had his daughter in the frame with the lion in the background.
“Great to spend time with loved ones. Best feeling in the world to have my daughter copy my wicket taking celebrations. And yes don’t forget to take care of animals, they too deserve our love and care,” Afridi wrote on his post.
Afridi retired from the sport last year but continues to play in T20 leagues around the world.
The 38-year-old has faced injury problems in the last two years and even missed the final of the second Pakistan Super League in Lahore, which his team won, due to a finger injury.
Since his international retirement, Afridi has spent a lot of time working for his charity foundation and travelling to different parts of the world.
He was last seen in action in the Hurricane relief T20 in which he led the ICC World XI against the West Indies at Lord’s earlier this month.
The match between the Windies and ICC World XI was organised to raise funds for the refurbishment of five cricket stadiums in the Caribbean that were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
West Indies rode on an all-round effort to thrash a star-studded World XI by 72 runs. Post the game Afridi made a donation of USD 20,000 towards the Hurricane victims in the Caribbean on behalf of the Shahid Afridi Foundation.