Ahmed Shehzad has taken a dig at Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as the Bangladesh tour of Pakistan remains in limbo. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
International cricket made a triumphant return to Pakistan after over 10 years with Sri Lanka visiting the country for a two-Test series in December. Earlier, Sri Lanka had visited the country for ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals and this gave renewed hope that many teams would follow suit. Currently, Bangladesh are expected to tour Pakistan for a Twenty20 International and Test series in January but the series is under a limbo as Bangladesh have expressed some concerns regarding security. Bangladesh are alright with playing the Twenty20 series entirely in Pakistan but they want to split the Test with one in Bangladesh and one in Pakistan. The current limbo is rousing a lot of speculation in Pakistan.
Saleem Khaliq, a senior Pakistan journalist, said Pakistan cricketer Ahmed Shehzad has urged Bangladesh to tour the country as it was safe to play now. However, Shehzad's response to Bangladesh touring the country was, "Wonderful pitches, Hospitality, Food and our tea is fantastic." The last point of tea is fantastic was a dig at Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The reaction from most users in social media was on divided lines between India and Pakistan. Indian social media users vehemently went after Shehzad and reminded him of the 'catch' which he claimed despite dropping it in an ODI against Sri Lanka. Pakistan users, on the other hand, approved of Shehzad's comment.
Wonderful pitches...— Ahmad Shahzad ðŸ‡µðŸ‡° (@iamAhmadshahzad) January 3, 2020
& our tea is fantastic ðŸ˜‰ https://t.co/H5tlWrgHqK
Abhinandan was held captive for around 60 hours in Pakistan after being captured during a dogfight on February 27 and advised to go on sick leave for at least three weeks before resuming duty. However, he chose to go back to his squadron in Srinagar rather than spending time with his family in Chennai. He was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after his MiG 21 Bison went down during a dogfight with Pakistani jets.
But before his plane was hit, Varthaman shot down an F-16 of Pakistan Air Force. After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and others. During his capture, he was calm and was seen drinking a cup of tea. Abhinandan was awarded the wartime gallantry medal ‘Vir Chakra’ for shooting down an F-16. While Abhinandan has been recommended for the Vir Chakra, the 12 Mirage 2000 pilots who bombed targets in Pakistan are being recommended for the 'Vayu Sena Medal' for gallantry for their acts of bravery.