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Afridi invites Gambhir for ‘medical treatment’ in Pakistan

Duo have reignited controversy since the launch of former all-rounder’s autobiography ‘Game Changer’

PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has invited former India opener Gautam Gambhir for medical treatment in Pakistan, after the duo reignited controversy since the launch of former’s autobiography ‘Game Changer’.

Afridi had accused Gambhir of having an attitude problem and no personality, in his book, which encompasses the events of his long career.

Afridi’s comments prompted the 2011 World Cup winner, Gambhir, into tweeting: “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.”

On Saturday, Afridi responded on Gambhir’s remarks, during the launch ceremony of his book in Karachi by stating: “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."

The former Pakistan captain also provided more insight about the debate surrounding his age.  

In a chapter of his book, Afridi wrote that he was born in 1975, making him aged 21 in his debut match, bearing his mind that he started his ODI career in October 1996. This makes him, more or less, five years older as compared to official records — where his date of birth is March 1, 1980.

"Also, for the record, I was just nineteen, and not sixteen like they claim. I was born in 1975. So, yes, the authorities stated my age incorrectly,” the Karachi-born wrote.  

Speaking on this matter, Afridi said: "I have always wished that my fans should know the truth about my age. When we were writing the book, I had decided that I would tell my fans my real age regardless of some of my records being struck-off."

He further stated: “When I planned the book I had decided to tell them my correct age but there is slight miscalculation in the book. They wrote my birth year is 1975 but it’s 1977 but I assure you that the e-copy will have the correct age.”

The swashbuckling all-rounder also claimed in his autobiography that Pakistan batting great, Javed Miandad, did not let him participate in the batting practice before the Chennai Test against India in 1999.

“The tussle had started even before the series kicked off. Miandad had developed a strong opinion against me...in fact, the day before I went to bat, Miandad didn’t even give me any net practice. So I had to practice on a stringed ball, alone, away from my teammates,” he stated in his book.  

Afridi also revealed that Miandad forced him to praise him during the presentation ceremony, which led to the all-rounder losing respect for the batting legend: “That day I lost all my respect for Javed Miandad, supposedly one of the greats of the game but in reality, a small man.”

Miandad, on Saturday, brushed aside the allegations in a press conference at the Karachi Press Club.

“Even if all of it is true, why anyone else has not made such a claim,” said Miandad. “Why would I ask someone to praise me? This is hilarious. I’m well-respected globally and was always willing to help youngsters during my playing days.”