In the world of cricket rivalries, Zaheer Khan vs Graeme Smith surely has to make it to the list. As strained as their relationship remained on field with Khan always troubling Smith to score, their relationship off-field has been full of sportsmanship. On October 7, as the former Indian fast bowler turned 41, wishes poured in on Twitter but the favourite one has to be of Graeme Smith. The former Proteas opener took to Twitter to Zaheer Khan and also thanked him for all the memories.
Happy birthday @ImZaheer have a great day buddy and thanks for all the memories!— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) October 7, 2019
Zaheer Khan, who made 309 appearances in Indian colours across the formats always got the better of the South African opener. Khan, who was known to make things difficult for left-handers, certainly enjoyed bowling to Smith as he picked his wicket around 14 times in 27 matches across all formats. After the former South African wished Khan on Twitter, commentary maestro, Harsha Bhogle retweeted his wish with a caption that read, "Now that is a sport." Bhogle was referring to the Khan-Smith battle which Smith lost most of the times but yet showed the sportsmanship to wish his counterpart on his birthday. This is not the only time that Smith has extended his courtesy to Khan.
Earlier, when Zaheer Khan had announced his retirement in 2015, Smith had again tweeted wishing him luck for the future and said, "Congrats on a fantastic career, enjoyed our battles, even if you won most of them. All the best for your future. You made India proud."
Before announcing his retirement in 2015, Zaheer Khan played 309 matches across formats for India and picked up more than 600 wickets. He was also a part of the Indian squad that won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. On his birthday, several cricketing stars and former teammates including Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman took to Twitter to wish him. The official Twitter handle of ICC also tweeted to wish Zaheer on his birthday.