What’s the story?
Part of their respective teams when the relations between the two nations blew hot and cold, Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi haven’t been the best of buddies on the cricket field. The duo might have played each other and even had an argument in the middle of the pitch a long time back, but they hatchet doesn’t seem to have been buried, at least according to Shahid Afridi.
"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”, Afridi was quoted as saying.
In case you didn’t know…
Gambhir and Afridi reached flashpoint during an ODI between India and Pakistan in Kanpur in 2007, when Gambhir bumped into the Pakistan all-rounder while taking a run during the 3rd ODI. A verbal duel had preceded the argument, and the two had to be separated by the umpires.
Afridi was an established name in the Pakistani circles by then, while Gautam Gambhir was still trying to find his feet properly in international cricket.
The heart of the matter
In a column for the ICC, the former Pakistani captain referred to the same exchange, stating that it had made headlines all over the world. However, he clarified and moved on in life, stating that all these things are “part and parcel of the game”.
He, however, conceded that Gambhir hasn’t got over the incident. He wished Gambhir good luck, clearly taking potshots at the Indian batsman’s hot-headed nature.
It is highly unlikely that Gambhir will respond to the comments by Afridi, and would be currently making his plans for the Kolkata Knight Rider’s next game in the IPL 2017. The KKR captain made a return to the Indian Test side for a brief while last year, but hasn’t played an ODI for the Indian team since 2013.
It has been ten years since the incident took place, and both players have had notable journeys in their cricketing careers. While Afridi has retired from the game and is free to give his opinion on it and what transpired throughout his career, it doesn’t seem pleasant on his part to make a statement regarding Gambhir’s stance on the incident.
Watch: The heated exchange between Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi in 2007