Shahid Afridi recently caused uproar with his statement implying that women should stay in the kitchen. Support for the national icon followed, with loyalists rushing to remind us that he was a cricketer, and not a politician. But is that really an excuse? The anger actually provided a brief glimpse of hope, to think that in a country where women are increasingly sidelined, there are those who want to fight for their birth right to equality. Sport generally has been a sexist arena, ranging from comments made by Andy Gray on the ineptness of a referee on account of being female, to tabloid criticism of female athletes for being ‘too bulky.’ As a hero for the nation, it is right to suggest that Afridi should wield his considerable influence with responsibility. Sure, we have to consider his conservative and educational background, but he has had tremendous international experience and exposure since then, and should know better.

When Andy Murray won Wimbledon last year, British national newspapers as well as the Prime Minister David Cameron declared jubilantly that he was the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years. This was inaccurate, since four women tennis players had raised the trophy for Britain since 1936 and were simply ignored. It was an abysmal revelation for feminism in sport and it goes to show that even within the politically correct measures taken by the West, sexism is prevalent on the field. Not to excuse what Afridi said, or the way in which he said it, but it only emphasises a wider global problem; that the whole framework of sport breeds sexism, and that it doesn’t matter that Afridi has a ton of international exposure. He belongs still, to a select group of male sportsmen who see female sport as the caricature of their own skill. So yes, nobody will be putting Afridi on a panel for women’s rights any time soon. How about we just let his bat do the talking.