18:03 GMT +305 December 2019
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    Pakistan's captain Shahid Afridi bats during the World T20 cricket match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on 22 March 2016.

    Indian, Pakistani Cricketers Resort to Twitter Spat over Kashmir Issue

    © AFP 2019 / MONEY SHARMA
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Former Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi has become embroiled in a Twitter spat with Indian cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir over the former’s activism on the Kashmir issue.

    The tensions between India and Pakistan over the state of Jammu and Kashmir soared after New Delhi decided to revoke its special constitutional status and split the state into two federally-administered units.

    Afridi had recently tweeted that he intended to visit the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-administered Kashmir to "express solidarity with Kashmiri brethren".

    Afridi’s tweet came after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced a 30-minute event will be held every week across the country for showing solidarity with the Kashmiris.

    Indian cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir, however, felt irked by Afridi’s tweet and stated the Pakistani cricketer Afridi has “refused to mature” and he would prefer opening an “online kindergarten tutorial” to help his fellow cricketer from Pakistan.  

    The political war-of-words between the arch-rival cricketers took a personal turn when Afridi shot back at Gambhir, questioning his mental strength.

    The Pakistani star cited the Indian cricket team’s former mental-conditioning coach Paddy Upton, who in his book had labelled Gambhir as “mentally the most insecure” cricketer.

    The spat between Afridi and Gambhir is nothing new as the duo were involved in a similar controversy over the Kashmir issue earlier this month.

    The two players’ rivalry persisted even during their cricketing days.

    The duo were involved in an infamous on-field scuffle in 2007 when the Pakistani team was touring India for a bilateral cricket series. Since then, the two players have taken jibes at each other while speaking to the media.

    Jammu and Kashmir has been on the edge since New Delhi scrapped Article 370 and 35A of the constitution, which previously granted special status to the state.


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