A war of words has broken out between three big names of Pakistan cricket with veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi describing former stars, Muhammad Yousuf and Shoaib Akhtar as ‘heckle and jeckle’.
The dispute broke out after Yousuf and Akhtar made critical comments about Afridi's performance in Pakistan's recent ODI series against South Africa on recent television talk shows.
Yousuf and Akhtar were particularly critical about Afridi but when the former captain returned home on Monday from South Africa, he minced no words in lashing out at his two former teammates.
"I don't care about what they say. But the way some of these experts behaved and acted as if the team never lost in their time. But to me comments from a pair of heckle and jeckle and Mr Bean don't make a difference," a visibly irritated Afridi told reporters at the airport.
Not surprisingly Yousuf and Akhtar, who are appearing as experts on Geo news channel, didn't take kindly to Afridi's comments about them.
Akhtar in particular was furious and said on Geo channel that with his comments Afridi had shown the difference between an educated and an illiterate person.
"We also criticised Misbah-ul-Haq many times but look at his reaction when the media asked him about our comments and look at Afridi's reaction. It shows the difference between the two," Akhtar said.
The former fast bowler also insisted he didn't want to wash dirty linen in public but some players are better off keeping quiet.
"I don't want to open my mouth but I know which players sold Pakistan cricket and when," he said.
Akhtar said Afridi needed to shut up and focus on his performance.
Yousuf, also a former captain and senior batsman, said he was appalled by Afridi's reaction.
"I have said it before he is still like a child and immature. But definitely I will repeat again youngsters should not make Afridi their role model," he said.
Yousuf also insisted that he had no bias or agenda while commenting on the team's performance.
"I just say what is true and if Afridi is upset about it I don't care because everyone knows about his behavior," he said.
Image: Shahid Afridi (centre) and Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan(right) in conversation with Shoaib Akhtar
Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images