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Shahid Afridi thanks Virat Kohli for gifting a bat to his foundation

736   //    01 Aug 2017, 19:51 IST

Shahid Afridi Virat kohli India Pakistan Cricket
A Virat Kohli-jersey signed by the Indian team fetched Rs 3 lakh for the Shahid Afridi Foundation

What's the story?

In yet another heartwarming gesture that proves that India and Pakistan may be bitter rivals on the field, but good friends off it, Virat Kohli donated a signed cricket bat for Shahid Afridi's charity foundation which won admiration from the former Pakistan all-rounder who thanked the Indian skipper on Twitter.

Kohli replied in kind wishing Afridi the best in his charity work.

In case you didn't know...

Cricket ties between India and Pakistan have been hampered due to ongoing political tension between the two Asian countries.

Relations between the BCCI and PCB are also at an all-time low with the latter even asking for a compensation amount in the region of Rs 1 billion from the BCCI for failing to adhere to the MoU signed between the two boards for reviving cricket ties between the two nations.

However, the players from both sides of the border share a cordial relationship with each other. Kohli had gifted a bat to Mohammad Amir ahead of the 2016 World T20 clash between the two nations at the Eden Gardens, while the Indian team gifted a signed Virat Kohli-jersey as a present for Afridi upon his retirement from international cricket.

The details

The jersey, which was signed by Indian players like Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah, Suresh Raina, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin and Hardik Pandya, along with present head coach Ravi Shastri, was auctioned at the Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) fundraising event held in London on July 31, for 4300 Euros or roughly Rs 3 lakh.

Afridi will be hoping that the bat signed by Kohli will fetch a similar or even better return for his charity foundation which focuses on providing healthcare, education and sports facilities for underprivileged children.

The SAF was founded by the former Pakistan skipper in March 2014 and has been actively involved in charity works in and around areas like Kohat, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Even during his busy days as an international cricketer, Afridi was active in his charity work as an ambassador for polio campaigns in Pakistan and he is setting the bar high for himself with his dedication to the cause in an even bigger way post retirement.

What's next?

Considering the high price the signed Virat Kohli-jersey fetched at the auction on Monday, Afridi will be hoping that the bat with the signature of the Indian skipper, who is arguably the world's best batsman at the moment, brings in a lot more funds to his organisation for helping those in need back home in Pakistan.

Extra Cover: Shahid Afridi: An entertainer who never let anyone settle down

Author's take

It is heartwarming to see the rapport shared by the Indian and Pakistan players off the field, especially at a time when political tension between the two nations is a serious issue of concern.

Afridi was an entertainer on the field with his maverick style of play and it is wonderful to see the 37-year-old using his image to good effect with his charity foundation. Even more amazing is the support that he is receiving from across the border and long may it continue.

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An Engineer by education, Sports has been my true passion all along. Football, Cricket, and Tennis are what I follow the most. A Red Devil by heart. Dada fanatic and someone who idolises Sir Alex Ferguson for the way he managed to outwit money power with his man-management skills.
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