Birthday celebrations: Inzaman Ul Haq with Australian cricketer Michael Slater. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah. When a tournament happens to be a month long, some of the players’s birthdays are bound to fall during this period. The teams celebrate it on the ground or team hotel and some gather together to eat lunch or dinner depending of their match schedule.

The birthday celebration becomes special if the players happen to be legends of the game. So when Shahid Afridi and Inzamam Ul Haq birthdays happened in a span of three days, it was indeed special. On March 1, Afridi turned 38 and all the players gathered around him at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and made him cut a cake on the ground. When the whole team sang happy birthday to him, Afridi after thanking all the players, gave the first piece of the cake to his captain Imad Wasim.

Afridi, who loves to look young and play like a young boy, accepted being addressed as the birthday boy with a smile.

Inzamam, who is the chief selector the Pakistan team, is here to watch the PSL’s young talents.

On March 3, he celebrated his 48th birthday in the VIP lounge of the Sharjah Stadium with former cricketers. He cut the cake cheered by Pakistan’s former Test stars Zaheer Abbas, Mudassar Nazar, Haroon Rashid and former Australian cricketer-turned-commentator Michael Slater, Pakistan Cricket Board officials and Mazhar Khan of Sharjah Cricket Stadium. All of them sang ‘Happy birthday Inzy bhai (brother)’. and Inzamam after cutting the cake offered the first piece of the cake to Zaheer Abbas.

Afridi, who injured his knee in the match against Lahore Qalandars before bagging his second man of the match award, had to undergo an MRI scan before his birthday.

As Afridi is Sharjah fans’ biggest hero, soon after his MRI, he tweeted his snap from the hospital saying: “My apologies to all my fans who came to watch me play today. Getting an MRI done for my knee. Need your prayers. Will get back soon.”

Since Karachi had a three day break, Afridi flew to Karachi to be with the family and will reach before the next match against Quetta Gladiators on Thursday in Dubai.

Afridi is thankful to the fans who come in large numbers to cheer for him. “A cricketer can ask for nothing more. My fans still enjoy my performances and I love that and continue to play for them,” he remarked.

Speaking to Gulf News, Inzamam once remarked about playing in Sharjah. “I loved this stadium, it was a batsman’s paradise. I remember all the Pakistan-India games here and everything that happened around it. I loved to play cricket here.”