Skipper plays down Afridi-Gambhir spat

Monday, November 12, 2007

KANPUR, India: Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik played down an incident that took place during his team’s third one-dayer against India when Shahid Afridi had a war or words with Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir.

“It was nothing,”
Malik said after the match which Pakistan lost.
“It just happened in the heat of the moment and later I went to Gautam and apologised to him on behalf of Afridi,”
he added.

After the first two games that went smoothly, the cricket community was reminded about the intensity of Pakistan-Indian encounter when Afridi and Gambhir had a spat during the Kanpur one-dayer.

It all happened when Gautam came to the crease at the dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar and soon drove Afridi for a boundary after which the duo got engaged in a verbal clash. It got worse when Gautam decided to go up to Afridi and said something which by judging Afridi’s reaction made it clear that Gambhir wasn’t exchanging any pleasantries.

The eyeball-to-eyeball encounter between the rival players was finally cut short by umpire Ian Gould. The umpire took Gambhir aside and asked him to control his emotions and also gave a similar advice to Afridi.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also played down the incident.
“Agar yeh nahi hota tau pata kaisay chalta ka yeh Pakistan-India series hay (If this hadn’t happen then how will you know that it is a Pakistan-India series),”
he said smilingly at a post-match press conference.

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