Pakistan cricket veteran Shahid Afridi has bared it all with the pen (or rather, the keyboard) in a column for the ICC website. The 37-year-old all-rounder, who announced his retirement from international cricket in February, has spoken of his relationship with Indian cricketers.
Afridi has revealed that he doesn't really get along well with former India team opener and current KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir. Their relationship soured post a shoulder-to-shoulder collision during a India vs Pakistan ODI match at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on November 11, 2007.
The heated foul-mouthed war was so intense that both men have never really met eye-to-eye post the incident, and Afridi, even after ten years, doesn't want to sort out the relationship with Gambhir.
More from IBTimes India: 2017 Volkswagen Polo teased: hatchback is longer, wider than the outgoing model
Contrary to popular belief, India and Pakistan players get along very well. 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!
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.
More from IBTimes India: Govt unveils no-fly list and rules to handle unruly air passengers
- Shahid Afridi
Gambhir, 35, has remained pretty vocal in recent times over the Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attacks in India, and has firmly mentioned many-a-times that he absolutely detests India indulging in any form of a bilateral cricket series against Pakistan.
From standing up for Indian Army to lending all forms of support to CRPF jawans in India, Gambhir recently won a lot of hearts after he pledged to bear educational expenses of children of slain CRPF jawans in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district last month.
Afridi wants an end to India-Pakistan tensions
Meanwhile, continuing his column, Afridi hoped that the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan would come to an end at the earliest, as he can get more of a chance to hang out with Team India captain Virat Kohli, who he admires a lot.
Another player I admire and respect from the present lot is Virat Kohli. He 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.
Unfortunately, we don't meet each other that often now due to the prevailing relations between the two countries. But I miss the good times with my Indian cricket friends and I am sure they feel likewise. Hopefully, the situation will improve soon so that the old friends can reunite to relive old memories.