Bizarre request seen as ultimate sign of accomplishment.
Pakistan superstar Shahid Afridi’s match-winning performances in the Asia Cup this week have prompted fans on social media to pray for him to be rewarded — with a son.
The 34-year-old, married with four daughters, delivered Pakistan a cherished victory over bitter rivals India on Sunday with consecutive sixes in the last over, sparking jubilant celebrations in the streets of his homeland.
He followed up with a lightning half-century — the second-fastest in one-day history — to propel his side to their highest-ever winning run chase to beat home team Bangladesh.
But the adoration of millions and a prime plot of land given by a real-estate tycoon were not enough for some fans, who see a male child as the ultimate validation of Afridi’s accomplishments.
“We should all pray that God rewards the person who has provided all Pakistanis jubilation and smiles in such terrible times with a son,” a user wrote on the “Meri jaan Pakistan” (My love Pakistan) Facebook page.
The post, which appeared on Wednesday, has received more than 5,000 likes, 1,000 shares, and hundreds of comments saying “Ameen (Amen)”.
“God will now give him a son, God willing,” said one user, Shamshad Khuwaja.
Many in Pakistan, a conservative and patriarchal Islamic society, view girls as an economic burden. Having a son is seen as a particular blessing.
After beating India and Bangladesh, Pakistan face Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final on Saturday.