A fierce rivalry between Shahid Afridi and Gautam Gambhir, dating back to 2007 when India clashed with Pakistan in Kanpur, hasn’t lost even an iota of intensity and bitterness even after more than a decade.
What started as an on-pitch heated conversation between the two has morphed into a lifelong battle extending way beyond the field.
Both players never miss an opportunity to take a jibe at each other. In a recent interview with Zainab Abbas, Afridi claimed that Gambhir, as a human being, has some issues.
The former Pakistan skipper remarked that while he liked Gambhir’s batting but there are certain traits which make him feel that the Indian has some problems.
“As a cricketer, as a batsman, I’ve liked him always but as a human being he sometimes says certain things, gives certain treatment that you feel just let it be, he has some problems. His physio has already highlighted that,” Afridi told Abbas.
Afridi also talked about Paddy Upton’s comment on Gambhir. Upton worked as a mental conditioning coach for Team India between 2008 and 2011. He wrote about the insecurity Gambhir faced as a batsman, and he would be in agony even after scoring a century.
“Using the popular notion of mental toughness, he was one of the weakest and mentally most insecure’ people I have worked with,” Upton had written in his book.
The former Indian cricketer did respond to Upton’s claim in the past, stating, “I wanted myself and Indian team to be the best in the world. That’s why I was not satisfied even after scoring 100 as it has been mentioned in Paddy’s book. I see nothing wrong there. As a driven individual, I have tried to raise the bar for myself alone.”
Afridi even made a scathing remark about Gambhir in his autobiography, remarking that the latter has no significant record to his name but showed a lot of attitudes.
“Some rivalries were personal, some professional. First the curious case of Gambhir. Oh poor Gautam. He & his attitude problem. He who has no personality. He who is barely a character in the great scheme of cricket. He who has no great records just a lot of attitude,” Afridi wrote in his book.