Amid a raging controversy about his on-field behavior following an ugly feud with S Sreesanth, Gautam Gambhir fumed at a question about his previous spat with ex-Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi during a recent podcast.
During an interview with ANI's Smita Prakash, Gautam Gambhir pointed out how broadcasters have continued to play with the public's emotions by showing his fight with Shahid Afridi, especially during India-Pakistan clashes.
“When there's a match between India and Pakistan why do they always show my fight with Shahid Afridi, there are so many other fights that have happened. Show something positive. Show when India has won the Asia Cup against Pakistan,” Gautam Gambhir told Smita Prakash.
Shahid Afridi and Gautam Gambhir have had a long history of feuds, with the latter describing the former as immature because he was yet to grow with age.
“I am sure he will sell his book better. Some People grow in age not mentally. Shahid afridi may be 36, 37 years old. But he is 16 mentally. My records are in open. Becoming ICC Test player of the year, winning Test series and World Cup. People will decide what I have done for the country. Some people are really mentally ill and so need psychiatrist treatment,” Gautam Gambhir once said.
Gautam Gambhir's remarks about his altercation with Shahid Afridi come at a time when his feud with S Sreesanth has shown no signs of ending.
During a Legends League Cricket clash in Surat on Wednesday, S Sreesanth and Gautam Gambhir were engaged in a bitter exchange. Videos showed the two even charged at each other before the umpires intervened to control the situation.
In video footage making the rounds on X, the former India teammates looked visibly upset before giving a long stare to one another after the Delhi-born cricketer smashed S Sreesanth for boundaries and sixes in an over.
A new video has surfaced on social media, which showed the two players arguing with each other. After that, Gautam Gambhir and S Sreesanth nearly came to blows. As their altercation escalated, their teammates controlled the situation in the nick of time by separating the two.
Later, in a video posted on his Instagram page, S Sreesanth revealed that Gautam Gambhir called him a fixer.
“I have not used a single bad word or used a single abusive word to him. I only said, “What are you saying? What are you saying?” In fact, I kept laughing in a sarcastic way because he kept calling me ‘Fixer, fixer, you are a fixer, F*** off fixer'. This is the language that was used.” S Sreesanth said in an Instagram post. “When they were trying to control him, he kept on calling me fixer,” the former India fast bowler said.
In a previous social media post, S Sreesanth claimed he was not responsible for the spat.
“I am not at all at fault here. I just wanted to clear the air straight away. What Mr Gauti has done, sooner or later all of you will get to know. The words which he used and the things he said on a cricket field, live, is not acceptable. My family, my state, everybody has gone through so much. I fought that battle with all your support. Now people want to down me for no reason. Even when my team is doing well, he said things he shouldn't have said. I will surely let you know what he said,” he noted.
“What's the point of representing people if you don't respect your own colleagues? Even in live broadcasting when he is asked about Virat, he never speaks about him, he speaks about something else. I don't want to go further in detail. Just want to say I am very hurt and my family is hurt and my dear ones are hurt. And the way he said things…. Just want to I haven't used a single bad word or a single abuse, nothing. He just kept on saying words which he always does,” he added.
After S Sreesanth's revelations, his wife, Bhuvneshwari Sreesanth, also had some harsh words for Gautam Gambhir.
“It is so shocking to hear from Sree that a player who has played for India with him for many years can stoop to this level. Even after so many years of retirement from Active cricket. After all upbringing matters a lot and it shows up when these kind of behaviour comes up on ground. Shocking truly shocking,” Bhuvneshwari Sreesanth wrote on Instagram.
Despite S Sreesanth's shocking allegations, Gautam Gambhir was yet to address his accusations.
However, the current parliamentarian from East Delhi did make a cryptic post on Twitter, which eventually went viral on the microblogging platform.
“Smile when the world is all about attention!” he wrote on the popular messaging app.
Gautam Gambhir's tweet left S Sreesanth fuming, who fired back at him in strong words.
“You have exceeded the boundaries of a sportsman and a brother, and above all, you represent the people. Yet, you continue to engage in conflicts with every cricketer. What is the matter with you? All I did was smile and observe, and you labeled me a fixer? Seriously? Are you above the Supreme Court? You have no authority to speak in such a manner and say whatever you please,” S Sreesanth wrote in his reply to Gautam Gambhir's Twitter post.
“You even verbally abused the umpires, and yet you speak of smiling? You are an arrogant and utterly classless individual who lacks any form of respect for those who supported you. Until yesterday, I always held respect for you and your family. However, you used the derogatory term ‘fixer' not just once, but seven or eight times. You even resorted to using the F-word towards the umpires and myself, persistently trying to provoke me,” the 2007 T20 World Cup winner continued.
“Anyone who has experienced what I have endured would never forgive you. Deep down, you know that what you said and did was wrong. I'm sure even God won't forgive you. You didn't even come to the field after that. Come on, God is watching everything,” S Sreesanth signed off.