Shahid Afridi’s autobiography ‘Game Changer’ has been in the news for several reasons. The former Pakistan skipper’s jibe at India opener and current BJP Candidate from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir has dominated headlines in both India and Pakistan. In his autobiography, he criticised Gambhir’s attitude and called him a mix of ‘Sir Don Bradman and James Bond’. The autobiography also revealed the real age of Afridi, stating that he was born in 1975 and thus dismissing the myth that he was 16 years of age when he blasted a 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in an ODI played in Nairobi in 1996.
In the autobiography, Afridi has opened up on the harsh treatment meted out to the former Pakistan all-rounder by some senior players during his playing days. Afridi has claimed that he was at the receiving end of harsh treatment by seniors during his playing days and cited the example of former coach Javed Miandad, who according to him did not let him bat at the nets before a Test against India in Chennai in 1999.
These claims have found backing from former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar who also backed his claims. “I think Shahid Afridi has written less in his book about the harsh treatment he received from senior players during his playing days. I witnessed some of it with my own eyes and totally agree with him. 10 of these senior players asked us for forgiveness, before leaving for Umrah, for the way they treated us,” Akhtar told in a television show.
Akhtar also revealed that there was one particular incident during his playing days on an international tour which was unforgettable. “Once during a tour of Australia, four players approached with the intention of hitting me with a bat,” Akhtar revealed.
The release of the book has not gone down well with several Pakistan players, with opener Imran Farhat stating that Afridi was a ‘selfish’ player who ruined careers. “I am utterly ashamed of what I have heard and read so far regarding this new book of Afridi, someone who has lied about his age for 20 odd years now decides to come clean and name and blame some of our living legends. I have a lot of stories to tell regarding this so-called Saint we have had the pleasure of playing with. He sure is talented enough to become a politician. I have a fair few stories to tell and I urge all the players who have been named and shamed to speak up and tell the truth about this selfish player who has ruined plenty of careers for his own good,” Farhat said in a series of tweets.