Written by Dipankar Lahiri
Up-to-the-minute: April 17, 2020 2: 47: 54 pm
Shahid Afridi with Yuvraj Singh (left); Afridi with Virat Kohli (File Photo/AFP)
The character of interpersonal relationships between Indian and Pakistani cricketers has modified through the years because ‘politics has seeped in in all locations,’ modified into as soon as an astute commentary made by feeble Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi.
Afridi’s memoir titled Gamechanger laid out how issues modified from the days of avid gamers from reverse camps being shut mates despite being fierce competitors to issues getting ‘edgy’.
Afridi speaks about the Indian cricketers of his time practically with fright. He recounts Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid as two Indians who started off alongside him. “1996, the year I debuted, modified into as soon as a occurring one…Dada and the Wall arrived: Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid both debuted in Take a look at cricket, with rankings of 131 and 96.”
On his narrative-breaking century in Nairobi in 1996, he says, “Sachin Tendulkar had given his popular bat to Waqar Younis and asked for a favour…However guess what Waqar did sooner than he took it to Sialkot? He gave it to me, sooner than I went in to bat. So successfully, that first century in Nairobi by Shahid Afridi modified into as soon as made with Sachin Tendulkar’s bat. Plug figure.”
Afridi, despite relating to himself in the third particular person, is so willing to portion credit for his 37-ball century with Tendulkar that it points to what he knowing of the Indian myth.
He moreover says, “In the early days of my occupation, Sachin Tendulkar modified into as soon as the excellent man (in India) who regarded take care of a factual batsman. Then emerged Dravid, then Ganguly, after which came a flood of up-to-the-minute guys… who had been polished with time. However Sachin – he modified into as soon as consistently polished. I deem he modified into as soon as born polished. He had his hold style, grandeur and sophistication.”
Sachin Tendulkar is the ‘king of the center interpret’, Shahid Afridi moreover says. (File Photo/AFP)
Among bowlers, Afridi writes about Anil Kumble with the finest respect. On the bilateral series in 1999 when Kumble took a excellent 10, he says, “Kumble modified into as soon as the prefer of their bowling assault and took support of an inconsistent dwelling umpire in the first Take a look at, nonetheless moreover brilliantly extinct the pitch – paved courtesy of the Shiv Sena – to crush us for a excellent 10. Kumble wrapped up a series with 21 wickets at an common of 14.85. What a guy! Even though I modified into as soon as the perfect scorer for Pakistan in that 2nd Take a look at, I couldn’t completely dominate him in that series.”
Afridi writes that he extinct to experience playing against Gautam Gambhir and Shane Warne primarily the most thanks to how they reacted to sledging. On Gambhir, he says, “(Gautam Gambhir) and his perspective say. He, who has no character. He, who’s barely a character in the enormous map of cricket. He, who has no gigantic records, factual loads of perspective. He, who behaves take care of he’s a tainted between Don Bradman and James Bond.”
On the shut bonds he shared with Indians earlier, he says, “Off the subject, deepest connections had been allowed. We extinct to hold round in each and each assorted’s rooms. Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Ajay Jadeja – I frolicked a lot with them. They’re all gigantic guys and we had some gigantic times collectively. However on the ground, we couldn’t stand the explore of each and each assorted.”
“As for the Indian avid gamers and our relationships with them, issues possess evolved…Off the subject, had been shut. Mountainous mates, some of us. However of slack, politics has seeped in in all locations,” he noticed. By the arrangement in which, Yuvraj and Harbhajan ended up receiving criticism from Indian fans for impartial now not too long ago in quest of donations for Afridi’s foundation in offering abet true during the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan. Nonetheless, both stood by their choices.
Afridi talks of Virender Sehwag as a ‘killer of bound attacks’ earlier in the book, nonetheless says his feedback on Twitter are irresponsible. He moreover says the Indian team donning navy caps on the cricket subject in 2019 ‘modified into as soon as moderately important’, announcing cricketers ought to be ambassadors and never politicians.
“Witness at Virender Sehwag. Witness on the harmful statements he makes on Twitter about Pakistan. Is that accountable behaviour? Set up in mind his fans all the arrangement in which during the sector. Set up in mind his fans right here, in Pakistan…We’re ambassadors. We can’t be partisan, excluding on the subject. In this original, hyper India, Kohli, Sehwag and Co. clearly don’t obtain that,” he says.
“In some unspecified time in the future of Mohammad Azharuddin‘s captaincy, I as soon as had your entire Indian team over for dinner. We even went out and partied collectively. Now, we factual pop into each and each assorted’s rooms, if that’s doubtless the least bit,” he says on the modified dynamics.
On his rivalry with Irfan Pathan, Afridi says, “In my heyday, the rivalry with Irfan Pathan modified into as soon as instinctive. There can handiest be one Pathan on the subject. In a jungle, there’s one lion. The assorted one is a lioness, or presumably, a cub.”
“There had been wholesome rivalries too. Virat. Yuvi. Bhajji. Zaheer Khan. We evened issues out by striking out and chilling collectively post-match. However in the closing four or five years, as relatives between the two worldwide locations soured politically, issues got very edgy,” he talked about.
Afridi speaks of his rivalry with Virat Kohli as having come on the unsuitable time for him, adding that Indian avid gamers possess consistently been the most realistic doubtless avid gamers of run bowling. “A original rivalry developed over my closing years. Virat Kohli versus me. His batting modified into as soon as peaking when my bowling occupation modified into as soon as culminating,” he writes.
Afridi moreover mentions MS Dhoni, naming him because the wicketkeeper in his ‘all-time simplest India Pakistan XI’. He describes Dhoni as a “Hitter, finisher, keeper, soldier.”
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