Big uproar over ‘Gamer Changer’ Miandad dismisses Afridi’s allegations

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KARACHI: An unfortunate tussle between cricketrs Shahid Afridi and Javed Miandad has again surfaced after the publication of Afridi’s autobiography ‘Game Changer’. Batting legend Javed Miandad has denied the allegations levelled against him by former all-rounder Shahid Afridi in his book which has caused quite big uproar in Pakistan cricket.

The autobiography, which according to reports will be officially launched in Karachi on Saturday, has caught attention of many primarily due to the fact that Afridi has openly criticised a number of star cricketers of the country, including fast bowling icon Waqar Younis.

“I leave all these allegations to Allah. How is it possible that a cricketer is not allowed to do net practice before a Test match. These allegations don’t make any difference and all of this will be evaluated on the Day of Judgement,” Miandad said. “My belief has always been that your performance speaks for itself.”

Miandad’s statement came in reaction to a claim made by Afridi in the book that Mianadad didn’t like him (Afridi). “The tussle had started even before the series kicked off. Miandad had developed a strong opinion against me… in fact, the day before I went to bat, Miandad didn’t even give me any net practice,” Afridi wrote in the autobiography.

“So I had to practice on a stringed ball, alone, away from my team-mates. That was the cloud of angst and embarrassment under which I was playing my first Test against Pakistan’s greatest rival,” Afridi further wrote.

Earlier, excerpts from Afridi’s book opened a Pandora’s Box. And perhaps the out-of-the-blue revelation about his own age, the flamboyant all-rounder has made, is among the most prominent controversy-generating pieces of information the book contains.

Afridi wrote in his book that he was born in 1975, and not 1980, as per the official records. This means that the 37-ball century — which he hit against Sri Lanka as a 16-year-old — actually came when he was 20-years-old.Blaming the authorities for getting his age wrong back in the day, Afridi created more confusion by stating he was 19 at the time. If Afridi was born in 1975, then he should be 20 in 1996, when he hit the created the world record of fastest ODI century against Sri Lanka in Nairobi. However, the former all-rounder writes in his book that he was 19.

“Also, for the record, I was just nineteen, and not sixteen like they claim. I was born in 1975. So, yes, the authorities stated my age incorrectly,” Afridi wrote.

Moreover, Afridi in the book revisited the past he shared with Waqar, calling the right-arm pace legend a ‘mediocre captain’ and ‘a terrible coach.’

“Unfortunately, he hadn’t let go of the past,” wrote Afridi. “Waqar and I had a history, dating all the way back to his tiff with Wasim [Akram] over the captaincy crown. He was a mediocre captain but a terrible coach, always micromanaging and getting in the way, trying to tell the captain — me — what to do… It was a natural clash and it was bound to happen.”

On the 2010 spot-fixing scandal involving Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, Afridi revealed that he was already aware of it.

He says that Mazhar Majeed had given his phone to a shop for repairing and the shopkeeper turned out to be his friend of friend. The shopkeeper had shown the messages of Mazhar Majeed for Pakistani cricketers. He said that he showed the proof to the team management but they did not take any action, adding that he also shared the messages with Waqar Younis. The management was either afraid or it cared about the country’s image. Yawar Saeed expressed his helplessness over the messages and did not even ask me for their copy, he wrote in his book.

He said that Abdul Razzaq had also expressed his doubts over Salman, Amir and Asif. Interestingly, Afridi also mentions Gautam Gambhir in the book, saying the Indian batsman had issues of attitude. “Some rivalries were personal, some professional. First the curious case of Gambhir. Oh poor Gautam. He & his attitude problem. He who has no personality. He who is barely a character in the great scheme of cricket. He who has no great records just a lot of attitude.”Gambhir behaves like he’s a cross between Don Bradman and James Bond,” Afridi wrote.

Age correction:

Shahid Afridi’s age has finally been solved – well, sort of. As many fans suspected, the former Pakistan captain confirmed that he is older than what official records state him to be, revealing that he was born in 1975 and not 1980.

The revelations in his new autobiography Game Changer means Afridi was not 16 when he smashed a record-breaking 37-ball ton against Sri Lanka in Nairobi in 1996.

The record was impressive considering he was supposedly a teenager at the time, but Afridi set the record straight in his book. “I was just nineteen, and not sixteen like they claim. I was born in 1975. So yes, the authorities stated my age incorrectly,” Afridi wrote.

Official records have his birth date as March 1, 1980. However, the cricket great’s claim that he was 19 adds to the confusion as he would’ve been 21 if he was born in 1975 as he states in his book.

Afridi played 27 tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is during his career, before announcing his retirement from international cricket in February 2017.