NEW YORK - Famed cricket star Shahid Afridi says he is not yet ready for politics even though he feels the urge to get involved.
"I have not yet decided to enter politics," he told a large gathering of his fans at the restaurant in Queen, a borough of New York City.
Afridi, who is visiting the United States at the invitation of Islamic Circle of America (ICNA), an organisation devoted to serving American Muslims, said that apart from playing cricket he was devoting time to social welfare activities in Pakistan and to building a hospital in his Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa village, where health facilities don't exit.
Some 700 Afridi fans attended the dinner hosted by the New York chapter of ICNA. On his current trip, Afridi is helping ICNA raise funds for its Tableeghi activities and for his project in Pakistan.
A total of about $40,000 were raised at the event through the auction of ICNA badges - at $1,000 a piece - and the rest through donations, according to Moaviz Siddiqui, who works for ICNA.
In brief remarks, Afridi urged young Pakistanis living in the United States to counter the negative image of Pakistan being projected by Western media by adhering to their traditional values and setting a good example of ethical conduct.
Afridi said he has been very impressed by the concern and love the Pakistani-Americans, especially the young ones, have for their motherland.
"You are the real ambassadors of Pakistan and Islam," he told the cheering audience. ICNA President Naeem Baig welcomed Afridi.