After some uncharitable comments about Gautam Gambhir in Shahid Afridi's autobiography 'Game Changer' surfaced in the media, both men have been engaged in a bitter battle of words. It seemed to have abated in the last couple of weeks but Shahid Afridi reignited the verbal due when asked to respond to a recent comment by the former India cricketer.
During a press interaction, a journalist asked Shahid Afridi what is his response to Gambhir's advice to BCCI, wherein the former India international cricketer has suggested his country's team should refuse to play the game against Pakistan in the upcoming ICC 2019 World Cup out of respect for the Indian soldiers who have lost their lives fighting terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
Afridi, in his characteristic no-holds barred style, lashed out at his former Indian rival using some strong adjectives. First he dubbed Gambhir, now a Member of Parliament belonging to the ruling party of India – BJP – as 'bewaqoof (fool).' Then, he criticised the retired left-hander in these words: "Do you think Gautam used his wits while talking about this? Does this look like something which a sensible person would say? Do educated people talk like this?"
This is only the latest in a series of heated interactions between the two retired cricketers. It all began with excerpts of Afridi's autobiography describing Gambhir as a player without much ability but lot of arrogance coming out in the media. The cricketer-turned-politician responded by extending an offer to take his Pakistani opponent from yesteryears to a psychiatrist.
Their rivalry assumed a personal character due to an incident way back in 2007 when Pakistan were playing an ODI series in India. During one of the games, Afridi abused Gambhir and the latter responded in kind. This ignited the mutual dislike of the two men for each other. With Gambhir not being one to back down, it would be interesting to see if he responds to Afridi's attack. The game between India and Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup is scheduled for June 16.