Aug 042013
Cricket Pakistan: Pakistani Cricketers on Twitter

Twitter provides a great platform for interaction between celebrities and fans.  We take a look at the twitter handles of some of the present and past Pakistani cricketers.

One of the first Pakistani cricketers to join Twitter was former national team captain Shoaib Malik. Unlike some other cricketers, Malik never tweets anything controversial. However, he is a regular tweeter, and occasionally replies to tweets from his fans as well.  He is one of the few Pakistani cricketers with a verified account, and his twitter handle is @realshoaibmalik.

Next up is Pakistan’s golden boy, Shahid Khan Afidi. The charismatic cricketer who is never shy of speaking out his mind is relatively new to twitter, and it is yet to be seen whether  BOOM BOOM’s tweets will be as explosive as his batting or not? Afridi recently held a Question and Answer session on twitter, in which he replied to several questions in a half an hour span.  One fan asked Afridi which bowler he liked facing the most, to which the 33-year old replied Irfan Pathan.  Shahid Afridi’s twitter handle is @SAfridiOfficial.

Another new comer to twitter is Pakistan’s young opening batsman Ahmad Shahzad. He is a regular tweeter, and definitely the most controversial of the Pakistanis cricketers on twitter.  The latest experience for Shahzad on Twitter was not been a pleasant one.  After failing to score a big score in a recent Caribbean Premier T20 league match, the Pakistani cricket fans criticized him on twitter to which the 21-year-old responded angrily, and even suggested that he might quit twitter if the criticism continued, with the following tweet:  “Fans se interaction doesn’t mean tht they take things for granted!! If this is the case I better just shut it”.  This outspoken opener can be followed on twitter at @iamAhmadshahzad.

Fast bowlers Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul can be followed on twitter at @WahabViki and @mdk_gul respectively. Umar Gul has kept his fans up to date with his rehabilitation process after undergoing a knee surgery which has kept him out of cricket for some time now. Both Gul and Wahab interact with their fans regularly on twitter while occasionally posting their pictures as well.  Wahab Riaz did not have the best time on twitter when he initially joined twitter, and he had to quit Twitter after receiving excessive abuse on twitter in early 2012. However, Wahab is back on twitter now, and we hope that his second coming is much better than the first one.

Off-spinner and a constant fixture on ICC’s world top 10 bowlers’ ranking in all formats, Saeed Ajmal is also on twitter. He has a verified account, and he can be followed at @REALsaeedajmal.  Upcoming stars, Hammad Azam and Umer Amin can be followed on twitter as well at @azam__hammad and @UmerAmin007 respectively.

Besides the Pakistani cricketers, the national team head Coach Dav Whatmore and fielding Coach Julien Fountain can also be found on twitter. These two tweet occasionally about the Pakistani cricket team, and can be followed at @dfwhatmore and @JulienFountain respectively.

Some ex-Pakistani cricketers are also on twitter. Legendary left-arm fast bowler and World Cup hero Wasim Akram can be followed at @wasimakramlive, while all-rounder Azhar Mahmood tweets on @AzharMahmood11. The inventor of doosra and one of the finest off-spinners that Pakistan has produced, Saqlain Mushtaq can be followed at twitter at @Saqlain_Mushtaq. Furthermore, the 1992 World Cup winning captain Imran Khan, who is also one of the leading politicians in the country can be followed on twitter @ImranKhanPTI.

It is great that Pakistani cricketers are joining twitter, as it gives the fans of the cricket-mad country an opportunity to follow the lives of their favorite cricketers. However, the Pakistani cricketers need to be cautious and responsible on twitter, as the country whose players are never short of controversy and scandal can ill-afford to have them embroiled in further controversies.

Responding to criticism or picking up fights on twitter may not be the best idea on twitter. Twitter wars are always a bad idea, as recently Aussie batsmen David Warner learned it the hard way when he was fined A$5750 for an abusive exchange on twitter with a couple of Australian journalists. It must be noted that as per the PCB contract, the Pakistani cricketers are not allowed to tweet while on tour.

Note: The following twitter handles are real as they are verified from various sources (journalists and agents) close to the cricketers. Other accounts of the cricketers mentioned in this article are either fake or handled by fans.

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