Saturday, Apr 29, 2017

Kohli-led India’s heartwarming gift to Afridi wins hearts both sides of border

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan-India matches are always a heated affair on the field, but some moments between players of the rival teams outside of the ground end up winning hearts across both sides of the border.

The Indian team made a heartwarming gesture last year when it gifted a Virat Kohli shirt, signed by its players, to former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.

I recently attended a dinner at Shahid Afridi’s residence and the signed Kohli shirt, hanging on the wall of the cricketer’s house, caught my attention.

The shirt can be seen carrying signatures of India captain Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah, Suresh Raina, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and coach Ravi Shashtri.

It also has a message scribbled by Kohli which says, “Shahid Bhai, always a pleasure playing against you.”

The shirt, a symbol of mutual respect between Pakistani and Indian cricketers, transcends all borders and rises above all differences – the beauty of the sport we love and cherish both sides of the border.

The Kohli shirt is not the only one on Afridi’s walls. He has an entire space dedicated to sports memorabilia, including shirts by legendary players such as Shane Warne, Sachin Tendulkar and AB de Villiers.

Another shirt, proudly preserved in its own case, carries the signatures of Pakistan cricket legends.

Signed bats by ‘Swing ka Sultan’ Wasim Akram and legendary batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq are also part of the collection.


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