After excerpts of Shahid Afridi's autobiography created a media storm, the man who was at the receiving end of the retired Pakistan cricketer's criticism, Gautam Gambhir, has finally responded to comments made about him.
In a short but hard-hitting response on Twitter, the former India opener said: "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."
Earlier, it came to light that in his autobiography, titled 'Game Changer,' Afridi made some rancorous remarks about his former Indian nemesis. "Some rivalries were personal, some professional. First the curious case of Gambhir. Oh poor Gautam. He and his attitude problem," the retired Pakistan all-rounder wrote.
"He (Gambhir) 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). It's 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," the former all-rounder further added.
It must be recalled that the two men first engaged in a bitter war of words during an ODI in 2007 during Pakistan's tour to India. While Afridi was bowling to Gambhir during India's innings, an altercation ensued which led to the choicest of abuses being hurled at each other by both.
This incident also gets a mention in Afridi's book. "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," the former Pakistan captain recalled while getting the event wrong as it was an ODI series, not Asia Cup.
Gautam Gambhir is currently busy campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in India where he is a candidate of the incumbent BJP from the East Delhi constituency. The Delhi cricketer was always known for his forthright views on issues like nationalism.
In 2011, following the Cricket World Cup that year, when Afridi described Indians as 'small-hearted,' Gambhir responded by saying, sarcastically, "We are not so large-hearted as to drop four catches," referring to four dropped chances by Pakistan team to get Sachin Tendulkar out in the semi-final of that event. Clearly, Gambhir hasn't lost his sense of humour.