I have liked Gautam Gambhir as a cricketer, but as a human he has problems: Shahid Afridi
Afridi also drew the reference of what Paddy Upton, Team India’s former strength and mental conditioning coach, had said.
Updated - Jul 19, 2020 12:00 pm
Shahid Afridi and Gautam Gambhir’s fierce rivalry dates back to 2007 when the duo had an ugly spat during the Kanpur ODI. After the incident at the Green Park, even as Gambhir was fined 65 per cent of his match-fees, Afridi was slapped with 95 per cent in that regards. Both were charged under two counts of the ICC Code of Conduct for bringing the game of cricket under disrepute.
Though both of them have retired from the highest level, they have continued with their verbal war on social media and on several issues. Of late, Afridi said that he had respect for Gambhir the cricketer, but said that as a human being, he was a tad indifferent. Afridi also drew the reference of what Paddy Upton, Team India’s former strength and mental conditioning coach, had said.
His physio has already highlighted that: Shahid Afridi
“As a cricketer, as a batsman, I’ve liked him always but as a human being he sometimes says certain things, gives certain treatment that you feel just let it be, he has some problems. His physio has already highlighted that,” Afridi was quoted as saying to Zainab Abbas in an interview.
Upton, in his book ‘The Barefoot Coach’, wrote that Gambhir was “mentally the most insecure, negative and pessimistic”. “Using the popular notion of mental toughness, he was one of the weakest and mentally most insecure’ people I have worked with,” Upton wrote in his book.
Replying to the same, Gambhir mentioned. “I wanted myself and Indian team to be the best in the world. That’s why I was not satisfied even after scoring 100 as it has been mentioned in Paddy’s book. I see nothing wrong there. As a driven individual, I have tried to raise the bar for myself alone.”
Gambhir’s career was an illustrious one though he eventually lost his place from the national team. Albeit he made his debut in 2003, it was his knock in the 2007 T20 World Cup final against Pakistan that boosted his career. Then in the 2011 World Cup final, his knock of 97 helped India beat Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium. In December 2018, the southpaw hung his boots from all forms of cricket.