The swashbuckling Pakistani batsman Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from the T20 version of cricket in February. He had already retired from Test and One-Day formats of the game.
His retirement came due to his falling form and the controversies surrounding his relationship with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The 36-year-old fan-favorite had played his last T20 as a captain in the 2016 world championships in India.
But his retirement was not as ceremonious as it should have been. (But, of course, he is not Tendulkar!)
Anyway, Team India did not forget to acknowledge Afridi’s superhuman abilities on the field. They, therefore, sent a fitting gift to him.
Yes, an Indian jersey belonging to Virat Kohli and bearing the number 18.
According to this Pakistani journalist, the jersey has the signatures every member of the Indian cricket team as well as skipper Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli’s shirt, signed by Indian team, for Shahid Afridi, with a message “always a pleasure playing against you.” pic.twitter.com/KexlCjTNeZ
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) April 15, 2017
And Kohli’s personal message displays a very high level of sportsmanship.
Many on Twitter praised the gesture, including Pakistanis:
@faizanlakhani I admire Kohli. It only he is great Batsmen but a great Human being and being aggressive in the field is his Class!!
— Tanveer Khatana (@iamrjtanveerkh) April 16, 2017
@faizanlakhani good to see that players of both nations respect each other.
— amir sohail (@amirsohail392) April 16, 2017
— Hassankhetran (@Hassankhetran18) April 16, 2017
@faizanlakhani wao awesome look at love of team india for Shahid he is a hero of world bt unfortunately not of our board
— Sajid Ali (@SajidAl06592932) April 16, 2017
— کشمیری مسلم (@pk_kashmiri) April 15, 2017
— CricWeed (@DivyeshAhir07) April 16, 2017
— rana nabeel (@rana_chand1) April 16, 2017
@faizanlakhani Heart warming gesture!
— Salman Saeed (@salman_539) April 16, 2017
Afridi made his debut in 1996. He became a fan favorite when he struck a 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in only his second match to set a world record that was unbeaten for 17 years.