Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and ex-India opener Gautam Gambhir have a long-standing and notorious rivalry both on and off the cricket field. Their heated exchanges on Twitter have often made headlines, but the feud actually started during a tense ODI match between India and Pakistan in 2007.
However, in a surprising turn of events, the two former cricketers were recently seen shaking hands and displaying a friendly demeanour towards each other at the Legends League Cricket (LLC) Masters tournament in Doha, Qatar.
The LLC tournament brought together Afridi and Gambhir, who are playing for different teams. During one of the matches, Gambhir was hit on the helmet by a delivery from Abdul Razzaq. Afridi, captaining the Asia Lions, checked on Gambhir’s well-being, demonstrating a compassionate side that fans had not seen before. The handshake between the two players during the toss also garnered attention on social media.
Despite their newfound cordiality towards each other, Afridi has spoken up about their rivalry.
“We are both ambassadors of our respective countries. If you live in the past, you won’t be able to live. We are enjoying in our present. He is leading his team and is in good form, he is playing beautifully and it’s fun watching him bat. I have spent two to three days with him and it has been amazing,” said the retired Pakistan all-rounder during his recent interview with TV presenter and sports anchor Yashika Gupta.
Afridi also said that he wished to see the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in the next editions of the LLC.
“Be it Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni, from Pakistan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. These are big names and people want to see them,” added the Peshawar-born cricketer.
Gambhir’s India Maharajas and Afridi’s Asia Lions are set to face each other in the Eliminator of LLC Masters 2023 on Saturday, March 18. The winner of the match will square off with Aaron Finch’s World Giants, who have already reached the final with three wins out of 4 games.