Gautam Gambhir hits back at Shahid Afridi: ‘Mentally he’s 16 years old’https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/gautam-gambhir-shahid-afridi-game-changer-5710126/

Gautam Gambhir hits back at Shahid Afridi: ‘Mentally he’s 16 years old’

Gautam Gambhir responded to Shahid Afridi who wrote in his autobiography 'Game Changer' that the former India opener lacks personality, has no records, yet holds a lot of attitude problems.

Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi exchange words during the third ODI in Kanpur in 2007. (Source: AP)

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi’s reference to Gautam Gambhir in his newly-released autobiography as someone ‘who has attitude problems’ clearly didn’t go down well with the former India opener. On Saturday, Gambhir offered to take Afridi ‘personally take him to a psychiatrist’. A day later, Gambhir added to it by stating the Pakistani legend is ‘mentally 16-years-old’.

Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Gambhir responded to Afridi’s remarks in his autobiography ‘Game Changer’, where he said the former India opener lacks personality, has no records, yet holds a lot of attitude problems. Busy campaigning for the BJP from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, Gambhir said, “You are a hilarious man!!! Anyway, we are still granting visas to Pakistanis for medical tourism. I will personally take you to a psychiatrist.”

Moving to Sunday, “I am sure he will sell his book better. Some People grow in age not mentally. Shahid afridi may be 36, 37 years old (Afridi is 39). But he is 16 mentally,” Gambhir told India Today during a roadshow.

“My records are in open. Becoming ICC Test player of the year, winning Test series and World Cup. People will decide what I have done for the country. Some people are really mentally ill and so need psychiatrist treatment.”

With the two having never shared a great rapport on the field, the former Pakistan captain Afridi wrote about their rivalry in his book, saying “Some rivalries were personal, some professional. First the curious case of Gambhir. Oh poor Gautam. He and 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.”

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Afridi also said that Gambhir acted like he was a cross between Don Bradman and James Bond. “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,” he wrote in his autobiography.

The duo were involved in a clash in 2007 during an ODI match between India and Pakistan in Kanpur. Both Afridi and Gambhir were booked for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct.

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.”

Responding back to Gambhir’s jibe on him, the Pakistani all-rounder said that the Indian cricketer has a mental problem and he can get him treated at his hospital.

“He (Gambhir) has a mental problem and if he wants I can get him treated at my hospital,” Afridi was quoted by PTI as saying. He further said, “If he faces any visa problem I will get it processed quickly for him.”

Afridi’s autobiography also made headlines after it revealed his actual age. The right-handed batsman revealed that he was actually born in 1975, and not in 1980, which the official records state.

Gambhir played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20 Internationals scoring more than 10,000 international runs across formats. Afridi, who retired from international cricket after the 2016 World T20 in India, featured in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20 Internationals. Afridi’s average in ODIs despite 8000 plus runs stands at less than 24 compared to Gambhir close to 40. In Tests, Gambhir has an average of close to 42 compared to Afridi’s 27 plus.