Father of all battles .... When Gambhir and Afridi almost came to blows .... Watch video

Gautam Gambhir vs Shahid Afridi

New Delhi, June 15: One of the most iconic rivalries in the world of sports, the Indo-Pak cricket rivalry is peppered with a host of personal bad blood between various players.

The duo were involved in an ugly spat during the third one-dayer in Kanpur on November 11, 2007.

The Pakistan players, including Afridi, had been sledging Gambhir ever since he came on to bat.

While Afridi was bowling with India at 95/2, Gambhir had hit a delivery for a boundary to the long-on fence before coming up with a nasty verbal volley at the Pakistani all-rounder.

The Indian unsuccesfully tried to glance the next delivery to the on-side before running for a single. Afridi, who had come up to the middle of the pitch in his follow through, was directly in Gambhir's path and the Indian barged into him while completing the run.

 

The two players then indulged in a heated argument, exchanging angry words and insults in Hindi and Punjabi. At one point it seemed like the two of them will come to blows and umpire Ian Gould had to intervene in order to calm things down.

The umpire also had a word with then Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, warning him to keep his players under control.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) later imposed heavy fines on the two players.

Afridi was fined 95 percent of his match fee while Gambhir had to give up 65 percent.

India had eventualy won that match by 46 runs which handed them a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

The bad blood between Afridi and Gambhir did not end even after their retirement.

Afridi started the tiff by writing in his autobiography titled "Game Changer" that Gambhir is "someone who has no personality and the one who has a lot of attitude problem".

"Some rivalries were personal, some professional. First the curious case of Gambhir. Oh poor Gautam. He and his attitude problem," Afridi wrote in his book.

"He (Gautam) 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.

"In Karachi we call guys like him saryal (burnt up). Its simple, I like happy, positive people. Doesn't matter if they are aggressive or competitive, but you have to be positive and Gambhir wasn't," he adds.

Speaking about the incident, Afridi said, "I remember the run-in with Gambhir during the 2007 Asia Cup, when he completed his single while running straight into me. The umpires had to finish it off or I would have. Clearly we had a frank bilateral discussion about each other's female relatives."

Gambhir, who has now joined politics and was victorious at the recent Lok Sabha elections, hit back at Afridi, saying that the former Pakistan cricketer is a hilarious man who needs to be taken to a psychiatrist."Shahid Afridi you are a hilarious man!!! Anyway, we are still granting visas to Pakistanis for medical tourism. I will personally take you to a psychiatrist," Gambhir tweeted.The former Pakistan all-rounder also hit back at Gambhir, saying that the cricketer-turned Indian politician has some problems for which he can be treated in Pakistan.

"I think Gautam Gambhir may have some problems. I am working with hospitals and I can get him very good treatment here," Afridi said at the launch of his autobiography in Karachi.

The former Pakistan T20 skipper also offered to arrange a visa for Gambhir.

"The Indian Government doesn't normally give visas to our people, but I will welcome everyone from India to Pakistan. Our people and our government have always welcomed Indians and as for Gautam, I will get a visa arranged so that his treatment can be done here," Afridi added.

News24 Bureau with agency inputs

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