With less than a month remaining for the ICC Champions Trophy which is scheduled to take place in England, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi wrote a column for international body’s official website on Thursday afternoon which is likely to raise a few eyebrows. Talking about the relationship between players of the two arch rivals Afridi wrote, “Contrary to popular belief, India and Pakistan players get along very well.” However, the all-rounder then took on the Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir by saying that he isn’t the friendliest of players.
“Of course, there are exceptions like Gautam Gambhir, who dare I say isn’t the friendliest. We are unlikely to be found together at a coffee shop anytime soon. We had a heated exchange on the field some years ago and it made headlines all over the world. While I have moved on in life as I feel these things are part and parcel of the game, Gautam for some reason can’t get over it. Good luck to him!” wrote Afridi while referring an on-field spat that happened a few years back at Kanpur.
Watch the incident here:
Afridi went on to say that he shares a very good relationship with some Indian players like Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh but Gautam is an exception. “While Gautam is clearly an exception, I have enjoyed excellent relationships with Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh. The three are one of my best mates and we have some wonderful memories together from the times when both the sides used to play and tour each other on a regular basis,” he wrote.
The former Pakistan captain said that he admires and respects the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli who ‘has a fantastic cricket bat in hand and an even a better heart in his supremely fit body’. “I will always remember him for the gesture he showed when he gave me an India cricket team signed shirt following our match in Kolkata in the ICC World Twenty20, 2016. This shirt sits prominently in my collection and will always remind me of not only my matches and visits to India but my excellent relationships with most, if not all India cricketers,” wrote Afridi.