South Africa February 10, 2007

Afridi should pay and play

Pakistan and South Africa might not have played much international cricket against each other but when it comes to controversy they are sure making up for the Apartheid years
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Pakistan and South Africa might not have played much international cricket against each other but when it comes to controversy they are sure making up for the Apartheid years. Now Shahid Afridi will sit out the rest of the one-day series cursing his stupidity. Whatever provocation he received from the spectator - and Chris Broad was right to speak to Cricket South Africa about the abuse of Afridi - there is no excuse for thrusting a cricket bat at anybody.

Afridi's behaviour was dangerous and irresponsible and he deserves to pay the price. But at the same time he also deserves to play in Pakistan's World Cup campaign, which luckily begins with two official World Cup warm-up matches. This means that Afridi could well be available for the opening encounter of this year's World Cup, the match against West Indies, if the warm-up matches count. At worst, Afridi will miss only one crucial World Cup match, the other being against Ireland.

Afridi, like any good spinner, is maturing with age and the spin option he offers means that he has more than one reason to be in the team. Pakistan should back him for the World Cup as a bowling allrounder with the ability to turn a match on its head with bat and sometimes ball. The wickets in West Indies should suit him.

The World Cup is rapidly opening up with Australia's blip in form. Pakistan have a real chance if all their main players are fit and available. Afridi is a vital element of Pakistan's attack force, and with the current strategy of batting right down to number nine or ten Afridi has greater licence to free his mind and swing.

If the PCB and Afridi have any sense they will accept the punishment, forget about an appeal, and get Mr Boom Boom ready for the Caribbean.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shaihd tirmizi on March 5, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    he is better than any other hitter.when he stays 50 over on the pitch all the batting records wiil be broken

  • Ali Sajjad Ahmed on March 2, 2007, 20:09 GMT

    Well i Personally Met With Afridi While he was Passing Through Dubai On his Way to Home when he was Banned for 4 ODI .Belive me he was very upset not because he was banned because hw wanted to Teach South Africa a good lesson with his pinche hitting as he was upset with most of the spectators were passing bad comments not againts team but against Pakistan which really drive him crazy for such reaction..he promised me that in the world cup he will try his best to proform with his fullest cooool .And Boooom boooom Sixes All over the Carribean..we all Pray for his success and as well team success in the world cup and inshallah the cup will come to Pakistan very sooon...

  • Moin Shaikh on February 28, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    Afridi should open again India and Srilanka only

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on February 17, 2007, 13:16 GMT

    Ro bert! you are not exactly Mr. current affairs are you ? Kamran is referring to the "aparthied within" in that australian offspring of dubious origin--speed!! The ban on Afridi is illegal as it was invoked against the rules!! go home and read some tabloid if you cannot keep up with the news...the 18 hour stipulation had expired for anyone to have laid a charge on Afridi-- above all the ICC media rep had issued a statement that no action would be taken against Afridi---but when Afridi played his BOOM BOOM innings in the 2nd ODI, ---it occured to speed to deal a blow to Pakistan and so he did...that's the aparthied you fail to see, maybe you are just pretending....

    Pakistan Zindabad, Pakistan Paendabad!

  • saquib on February 16, 2007, 7:33 GMT

    HI GUYS, Dont worry about pakistani cricket team.It is an unpredictable & unbeatable on their days.This 3-1 loss was impotant for pak & also good for them becoz pak is a team wich plays well only when they r pushed back.Pak can defeat any one in the world cup.so dont worry about them.

  • AMIT on February 15, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    Being an Indian i always want to see Indian team winning but if our team is not there then my second choice is Pakistan.I really appreciate the kind of talent this team has ,the likes of Shoiab,Afridi,Mohd.Yusuf,Younis khan,Asif,Razzaq,Kaneria and Mr.Cool-Inzy.But it gives me a sad feeling when these players act foolishly.I always feel and fully endorse Wasim Akram's statement that if there is any team capable of beating Australia in world cup then it is Pakistan ( India of course is there all the team having great talent in their team ).I just want to see good sense prevail and all these players give 100% and i think if they club together and fire properly at the right time world cup is coming back to this continent.Either to India or Pakistan but in no case will go to Australia.We all must pray to GOD ,our wish should come true.

  • AMIT on February 15, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    Adding to my last message i would like to say that if asian countries really want to oppose these kind of comments happened with Afridi in South Africa then we all ( India,Pakistan,Bangladesh,Sri Lanka ) must stand up and take this issue to the annual meeting of ICC.One should not forget that if these 4 nations stop playing cricket then cricket will die very soon.

  • AMIT on February 15, 2007, 9:22 GMT

    What JINN has said on 10th Feb at 4.01 pm is correct is that they are an aggressive playing nation and if someone is abusive then the players have all the right to react accordingly.But mind u the words like green pyjamas and baby blues are equally abusive.I wish the two hottest countries play against each other in world cup and there the world will see who is more aggressive.Last 3 world cup matches are good example.

  • Lesley C on February 13, 2007, 23:39 GMT

    To Javad A Khan from Lesley C No but I have a DEAF sister so I find it really easy to lip read (years of practice Mr Khan),

  • irfan_nj on February 13, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    Javed, you sure love afridi, "aye". But the thing is, what he did was WRONG. and as calgary highlander said, "Gibbs did not serve a two match ban. He served a ban froma test, an ODI, and the 20/20. That kinda equals two four ODI's. Both Gibbs n Fridi kinda did the same amount of wrongdoings." and why are you comparing ice hockey (or etc) with cricket!?? i know you love him, BUT dont get upset if someone says something about "AFRIDI" :-) PEACE

  • shaihd tirmizi on March 5, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    he is better than any other hitter.when he stays 50 over on the pitch all the batting records wiil be broken

  • Ali Sajjad Ahmed on March 2, 2007, 20:09 GMT

    Well i Personally Met With Afridi While he was Passing Through Dubai On his Way to Home when he was Banned for 4 ODI .Belive me he was very upset not because he was banned because hw wanted to Teach South Africa a good lesson with his pinche hitting as he was upset with most of the spectators were passing bad comments not againts team but against Pakistan which really drive him crazy for such reaction..he promised me that in the world cup he will try his best to proform with his fullest cooool .And Boooom boooom Sixes All over the Carribean..we all Pray for his success and as well team success in the world cup and inshallah the cup will come to Pakistan very sooon...

  • Moin Shaikh on February 28, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    Afridi should open again India and Srilanka only

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on February 17, 2007, 13:16 GMT

    Ro bert! you are not exactly Mr. current affairs are you ? Kamran is referring to the "aparthied within" in that australian offspring of dubious origin--speed!! The ban on Afridi is illegal as it was invoked against the rules!! go home and read some tabloid if you cannot keep up with the news...the 18 hour stipulation had expired for anyone to have laid a charge on Afridi-- above all the ICC media rep had issued a statement that no action would be taken against Afridi---but when Afridi played his BOOM BOOM innings in the 2nd ODI, ---it occured to speed to deal a blow to Pakistan and so he did...that's the aparthied you fail to see, maybe you are just pretending....

    Pakistan Zindabad, Pakistan Paendabad!

  • saquib on February 16, 2007, 7:33 GMT

    HI GUYS, Dont worry about pakistani cricket team.It is an unpredictable & unbeatable on their days.This 3-1 loss was impotant for pak & also good for them becoz pak is a team wich plays well only when they r pushed back.Pak can defeat any one in the world cup.so dont worry about them.

  • AMIT on February 15, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    Being an Indian i always want to see Indian team winning but if our team is not there then my second choice is Pakistan.I really appreciate the kind of talent this team has ,the likes of Shoiab,Afridi,Mohd.Yusuf,Younis khan,Asif,Razzaq,Kaneria and Mr.Cool-Inzy.But it gives me a sad feeling when these players act foolishly.I always feel and fully endorse Wasim Akram's statement that if there is any team capable of beating Australia in world cup then it is Pakistan ( India of course is there all the team having great talent in their team ).I just want to see good sense prevail and all these players give 100% and i think if they club together and fire properly at the right time world cup is coming back to this continent.Either to India or Pakistan but in no case will go to Australia.We all must pray to GOD ,our wish should come true.

  • AMIT on February 15, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    Adding to my last message i would like to say that if asian countries really want to oppose these kind of comments happened with Afridi in South Africa then we all ( India,Pakistan,Bangladesh,Sri Lanka ) must stand up and take this issue to the annual meeting of ICC.One should not forget that if these 4 nations stop playing cricket then cricket will die very soon.

  • AMIT on February 15, 2007, 9:22 GMT

    What JINN has said on 10th Feb at 4.01 pm is correct is that they are an aggressive playing nation and if someone is abusive then the players have all the right to react accordingly.But mind u the words like green pyjamas and baby blues are equally abusive.I wish the two hottest countries play against each other in world cup and there the world will see who is more aggressive.Last 3 world cup matches are good example.

  • Lesley C on February 13, 2007, 23:39 GMT

    To Javad A Khan from Lesley C No but I have a DEAF sister so I find it really easy to lip read (years of practice Mr Khan),

  • irfan_nj on February 13, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    Javed, you sure love afridi, "aye". But the thing is, what he did was WRONG. and as calgary highlander said, "Gibbs did not serve a two match ban. He served a ban froma test, an ODI, and the 20/20. That kinda equals two four ODI's. Both Gibbs n Fridi kinda did the same amount of wrongdoings." and why are you comparing ice hockey (or etc) with cricket!?? i know you love him, BUT dont get upset if someone says something about "AFRIDI" :-) PEACE

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 13, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    On the twentieth attempt he may have edged it! ******************************************** LOL........thats what an Amish would do without a LIGHT BULB!

  • khawar on February 13, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    Afridi do deserve the ban, but not for 4 mathes say only aganist South Africa. Bet the spectator is a dumbass and why does he have to make remarks about Pakistan's cricket team. Afridi also thinks with his bat rather than his brian. bet this is making him angey and hopefully he'll get fired up for rest of matches in World Cup.

  • Mudasir on February 13, 2007, 13:18 GMT

    Afridi should not appeal because as a result of it his banned may be postponed for the rest of the world.

  • Shafiq on February 13, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    1. Mr. Speed is the no1 Racist in the cricket world, a pure australian head, who couldn't digest Hair departure, he did it after watching performance of afridi in 2nd odi, after 5 days, oh my God. 2. Spectators should be banned , behaving so to a great player, that spectator was clearing abusing afridi and pakistan----shame on South africa & ICC. 3. Afridi is fantastic entertainer, we love him, he is our hero---i wish next time he bisect the head of such stupid spectator or Mr. Speed

  • Robert on February 13, 2007, 10:20 GMT

    Kamran, I am not sure how exactly you equate the Afridi incident to apartheid? I can reach only one conclusion here and that is you have a chip on your shoulder about something. Was it because of apartheid that Inzi decided to attack an Indian member of the crowd? Please... try another angle.

    The ban... perfect punishment. It was a level 3 offence, which means that the player would serve 4-8 games... as he was provoked and the spectator is too close to the players the minimal sentence is the correct one. If anyone insists on a lessor sentence then change the rules. Simple!

    I believe Afridi won't be putting in an appeal (and here I thought the Pakistani bowlers apealed everything!) which is a good thing for the team on the whole... At worst it will mean he will miss the first 2 games of the world cup. I do believe that Afridi is a vital part of the Pakistan side. His bowling has been the best of his side in the ODI's. As for his batting... he is a hitter... with him penned to be in at 8 or 9 his job is to score quick runs... if he scores big, all the better! His first game of the world cup will be against a lessor side, all the better for a good warm up session.

    what surprises me most on this blog is how many people think they are hard done by. Adam Gilcrest who is accepted all over as being a fair player by a long way has served a handful of bans already in his time. It happens, you step out of line... you get punished. Deal with it, move on!

    Asif Naeem, you must be delusional! How can the Afridi incident be revenge for the Gibbs incident? I fail to see any connection. If Afridi didn't swing his bat, he just wouldn't be in trouble. Then again, I see how Gibbs was helping him up the stairs?!

  • Amish on February 13, 2007, 9:39 GMT

    Well its high time the PCB dropped Afridi from the team! Hez the King of Swing and miss! I bet he would swing & miss the spectators head if he was given 18 more chances! On the twentieth attempt he may have edged it!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 13, 2007, 2:32 GMT

    MR. KHALID ARIF SIDDIQUI Sir, ....... I did not say that "every Pakistani wants Shahid (Afridi) to play in the world cup. Read my comments again, I said: "I think, like, most Pakistanis Kamran (Abbassi) is feeling bad about Afridi's ban ......." It would be really stupid of me to talk on behalf of ignorant Wasim Bari. :-)

    LESLEY C.......did the guy phone you to tell you that he said, 'BOOM BOOM GO TO YOUR ROOM?'. I don't think the audio picked up anything. For a change why don't you keep a lid on your big mouth? If Afridi really wanted to knock his head off, he wouldn't have missed that foot ball size head from that distance ...better check out the video again, Afridi was holding the bat not from the handle but from the middle of the blade (of the bat).

  • Nath on February 13, 2007, 2:29 GMT

    What is with the continual obsession so many of you have with Australia?!

    This incident has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Australian cricket team, and yet they are mentioned here in many of the posts. Why?

    It really is time that many of you got the chip off your shoulder. You overlook the times Australian cricketers get punished, but incessantly dwell on any perceived injustice against your team. It really is quite ridiculous.

    Warne served a ban for taking a non performance enhancing substance. Two pakistanis are allowed to continue playing after being found guilty of taking a substance that actually does enhance performance. Is that racism? Why not complain about the double standards of that situation?

    The point is that any situation can be made to look unfair or biased against you if you look hard enough and ignore inconvenient facts. The victim mentality of so many pakistanis does them no credit at all.

  • Naeem Sahi on February 12, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    As for squad for wold cup i would srongly suggest to Pakistan Cricket Management to try opening pair as a left and right combination. With left and right combination for Bowlers it is not easy to maintain tight line and length. All major cricket teams are using left and right combination for opening pair i.e Australis, South Africa, Sri Linka, India and New Zeland. As for left hand batsman my suggestion is Slaman Butt, as he has temparment to stay at wicket for long time unlike any other opening pair that we experimented so far. Former captain Imran Khan in a recnt interview suggested that he would got for Salman Butt as opening batsman and he would not go with Kamran Akmal as opening batsman.

  • John on February 12, 2007, 18:08 GMT

    Hey cricket fanatic - you live in a very closed world if you think that Only Mark Boucher, Andre Nel and South African cricketers taunt other players - every nation in cricket sledge and harrass other players so to try and blames south africans is quite biased and ridiculous just Ask Kumar Sangakara (who by the way is one of my favourite cricketers) he admitted he took great pleasure in taunting Pollock from behind the stumps - My Personal opinion on the matter is neither Gibbs nor afridi should have been banned but the spectators as they were the ones who prompted all this behaviour - but then this crowd behaviour happens all over the world in various formats (England, South Africa, and Australia love the personal abuse and the Asian Block just love throwing things at players)so maybe it would be best if players and supporters just accepted the punishment and got on with it - or just behaved responsibly - but hey everyone is human.

  • ZAIN AHMED MEMON on February 12, 2007, 16:10 GMT

    please afridi pickup in the team becoz afridi is best

  • Junaid on February 12, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    I agree that the ban on Afridi is justified but I believ that it should hav been less than 4 ODIs. It is because of the nature of the incident. We cant simply say that its only Afridi who is responsible for that mess cz there must hav been some initiative from the spectator which made him so much agressive wid his reaction. If we can take a look at the Zidane incident in the football worldcup we can say that every reaction is due to some action and the intensity of reaction usually depends on that of action. Also if we look at the Imran Nazir incident in the 2nd ODI, the match refree made the arguement that cricketers are not robots, they are human beings and we can expect agressive behavior from them. So if I try to be neutral on this matter I would advocate a 2 ODI ban on Afridi rather than 4 because of the nature of the circumstances.

  • Ata Tahir on February 12, 2007, 14:23 GMT

    I dont know why but again i'm hoping and wishing that it will be the last stupidity of Afridi. He's like a horse for team but without using brain sometimes horses becomes donkeys.

  • khan saif ali on February 12, 2007, 12:10 GMT

    To the nation i advice forget wat happen,just think wat can be done next to bring the world cup back home.Today it was Afridi tomoro can be any one.And remember now we dont have players like Waqar,Wasim and Imran khan so make use of the players we r having.No need for putting presure on the current team players.We r already stuck with the problems of Shouaib.So please incourge the team players for the future.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 12, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    Mr. Javed A. Khan wrote in his comments above that every pakistani wants Shahid to play in the World cup, I would however like to ask Mr. Khan if he has included the sellectors as well in the "every Pakistani" he mentioned in his comments. The chain of events leading to the worlds cup indicates that the sellectore wern't interested to have him any where near the team and he was dumped with the pretext that he is out of form. If a player like Shahid who is of immence value to Pakistan passes thru a lean period then is it not the responsibility of the coaching staff and the powers to be at the PCB to ensure that he is brought back to his potentials. After all Bari also is there and for such a long time despite the mess that he always created in the sellection, then how come we just dump a players like Shahid who is of great value to the team not only by his performance but also the psychological effects that he creates by simply being there in the team. One should also not blame Shahid to have behaved that way for I feel that it is the responsibility of the cricket board to groom players to face such things. We should have a sports psycologist in our set up and he should look after such matters and ensure that they are battle hardned in every way. The amount of money that PCB has it can easily afford it, or is it only ment to be spent on the joy rides of PCB officials. Infact I would recommend a complete over haul of PCB and we shuld sack every body there after the World cup and I suggest that Imran Khan be made the Chairman of PCB, he is the only guy who can bring some order in the board. I am not suggesting that politicians be involved in cricketing affairs instead its Imran as the cricketer that I am proposing. This will not only help the board and cricket as general but it will also help groom Khan sahib in becoming an astute politician by just being there in PCB because the corridors of PCB is always full of politicking blokes.

  • Spurs on February 12, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    After the spectator incident Afridi was called in by match referee C Broad and with explanations and details he was let off. Fair enough decision taken by referee. Then why CEO Malcolm Speed comes into action after a couple of days and asking officials to look into matter again. The CEO should have show some elegance and maturity instead of contradicting match official decision which clearly shows lack of discipline and faith in ICC. Blame is being put on Afridi for brandishing his bat at the spectator. have we forgotten what happened to Monica Seles being stabbed by the spectator which ruined her career. The spectator here in this case would have done the same thing, one never knows. What was the security doing there? snoozing i guess..

  • Riz... London on February 12, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    Afridi like a typical pathan didnt think about the concequences and showed his anger by swinging the bat towards the spectator. This is very selfish of afridi as Pakistan lost a valuable player for 4 matches due to his bahaviour. If PCB had him fined for scratching the pitch by ilegal means against England in pakistan he would have never done this. PCB should draw a line and should make some sort of code of conduct for every player as they represent our country. We have to accept that we can never win the worldcup with this team and we should stop covering the players with injury and disciplinary problems. Players like shoaib should not be made Gods. We should come out of Imran Khanz influence. Pakistan souldnt have lifted the drug ban as this has given an impression that players can get away with anything they do. To me afridi should be handed a fine for such an amount that anyone in the squad wearing the proud Green color should think twice before spoiling the name of our country.

  • khurram on February 12, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    ban is justified. Afridi should have been more sensible.i feel u r representing your country when u r out on the field.but at the same time i feel there is a slight BIAS on the ICC's part. the officials didnt charge him. the ICC laid the charge.HAD IT BEEN AN AUSSIE, A POM, OR A KIWI THE ICC WOULD HAVE BEEN FAR MORE FORGIVING, TO THE POINT WHERE THE MIGHT NOT HAVE EVEN CHARGED THE PLAYER.as far as the warm-up being official games i dont think that would be the case as i remember reading in an article that Pakistan's first official game is against W.I. BUT KNOWING ICC'S FONDNESS FOR GRANTING EVERY POSSIBLE GAME "OFFICIAL" STATUS ANYTHIONG IS POSSIBLE!!!Irrespective Pakistan shouldnt have a problem. and again AFRIDI SHOULD HAVE BEEN BANNED! we cant compare this with the GIBBS or the INZI issues. GIBBS WAS HEARD ON TV WORLDWIDE AND PAKISTAN LODGED AN OFFICIAL COMPLAINT AGAINST HIM. AND WITH INZI WELL WHAT CAN I SAY, HE WAS IN THE STANDS FOR HEAVENS SAKE. afridi has a very important role to play in the WC. WI pitches will suit his style of play. HE CAN BE A REAL MATCH WINNER THERE AS HE HAS BEEN IN THE PAST!!! pakistan have a decent chance of going deep in the tournament and possibly to the finals also. but they will have to find a better opener than kamran akmal. AKMAL SHOULD BAT AFTER INZI AS RAZZAK IS NOT THE SAME FORCE WITH THE BAT.IT WOULD BE BETTER IF SHOAIB MALIK OPENS.it would not disturb the balance of the team and malik is much better equipped to open the innings.

  • Usman on February 12, 2007, 7:36 GMT

    Afridi's ban, y so much fuss??? he wasn't going to do anything in the upcoming matches anyway so better sit out, here is a guy who hasn't learnt anything since he started playing for Pakistan, never plays for the team always plays for himself. No matter what the situation he will swing his bat and his bowling is not that good to earn him a place in the side single handedly. Razzaq is a fine example of how he has got himself in the habit of finishing matches and to model his batting in one day according to the need of the game. And i think he is still a good enough bowler if used well by the captain. If we continue our defensive mind set of batting to number 9-10 and still having only 3 batsman who can win u the match, its no use. Why don't we try and get some consistent bowlers and batsman in the side rather than hoping that one of our so called all rounders will do it with the bat and/or with the ball.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on February 12, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    Kamran Bhai,

    Let us accept the law. Punishment or no punishment, Afridi was wrong while showing his bat to the spectator and he has had to pay the price. Time and again, I am saying that the cricketer is an ambassador for their country. They should not behave like this. We should be polite anyway whatever the circumstances. It is the politeness which counts. But we should also ponder over the way this saga has been handled again by the ICC. Once they state that there will be no punishment and then they punish. I think ICC was also under pressure from some quarters and the pressure politics should be abolished. Cricket is a gentleman's game and after The Oval Gate, Shoaib-Asif issue (medical), Gibbs issue and now Afridi's, the ICC needs to be revamped. The administrators should be changed otherwise, more controvesy will be there and and the ICC will loose its confidence.

  • Hussain Ali on February 12, 2007, 7:18 GMT

    I agree with Zafar's comments above. Speed should be given a "speedy" exit from the ICC. In fact I believe Cricket SA deliberately planted that spectator so close to the players to instigate Pakistan players for some kind of a reaction in connivance with Speed (the match officials were completely silent) and later biased disciplinary action. PCB should take strong exception to this matter, investigate thoroughly and sue Speed and Chris Broad.

  • Adnan on February 12, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    The spectator reportedly said "Boom boom goto your room"

  • zohair on February 12, 2007, 5:33 GMT

    The punishent is justified.. true.. but that SOB of a fan should ve deserved something too.. maybe hitting him with a bat wouldnt do.. maybe a kick in the ass would do.. If i was in a similarly situation, I'd smack him on the head.. ICC can do whatever it wants.. Afridi is a man and he wouldnt stand around listen to that no good wussy..

  • Lesley C on February 12, 2007, 2:24 GMT

    The comments the spectator made were "BOOM BOOM GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM". I am sure that you will agree that this statement really doe's not warrant you getting your head nearly knocked off.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 11, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    This one is for "iMrAn kHaN Feb.11, 2007 6:54 AM"

    iMrAn kHaN, me too, I have also disagreed with Kamran Abbassi's views on this thread about Afridi. But to say that Kamran Abbassi must have lost his marbles or he is licking the boats of his white masters is a bit too harsh and are rude comments. You may express your views but don't get so emotional and rude. What if I tell you, "if you are on heat why go and sniff his marbles or lick his boat?" Does it make you feel any good now? I think, like, most Pakistanis Kamran is feeling bad about Afridi's ban and knowing that there is nothing that could be done, he has expressed his views that Afridi should learn to calm down. Also, under the circumstances the best course of action is not to appeal, that will rule him out of the WC. The aim is, we all want Afridi to play for the World Cup and with whatever resources that are available that is the only choice - accept the 4 match ban. However, if there is any possibility in dragging ICC to the court, i.e., only after the world cup, then Pakistan must put all their resources in suing ICC. It should not be a matter of forgive and forget. They never let any opportunity go by so why should Pakistan be so generous?

  • cricket fanatic on February 11, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    I am a keen follower of world cricket since the late 1950's. It is very apparent and sad as well that there exists a double standard within the ICC for dealing with incidents of all kinds involving Australia. South Africa, Indian sub continent and all other Asian teams. How is it that after the match referee Chris Broad decided initially not to take any action that Malcolm Speed (hundreds of miles away in the Carribean) decided that action should be taken. Where was were the match referee and Mr speed when Gibbs was given out LBW and clearly showed dissent towards the decision, even though Kamran Akmal's LBW decision was far worse. I have watched every important series on TV in recent times, and Australia and South Africa clearly ridicule, torment and indeed show very little respect to fellow opposition, and even umpires. How are they allowed to get away with it. Andre Nel, Mark Boucher and indeed the majority of SA players are constantly taunting and tormenting opposition in Africaans, and yet Imran Nazir was spoken to by Chris Broad. The Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan players should seriously consider boycotting big events like the World Cup, in order to influence their respective boards to insist on fairer action from that beaureaucratic, and openly biased body of racists who call themselves the ICC

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 11, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    Afridi's incident is really a sad blow to the already depleated Pakistani team. Added to it is the latest news that Shoaib may not be available for the World Cup due to a knee injury while Gul, Shabbir and Sami are all nursing injuries and we will be left with only Asif as a lone ranger. This is the situation of bowling, the batting also does not give any semblence of hope as has been proved in the latest South African campaign. All this will create a much bigger than expected problems for the powers to be in PCB and people would be hunting for blood once the team reaches Pakistan.

  • CB Fry on February 11, 2007, 16:09 GMT

    completely agree with your point about afridi being a bowling allrounder. the critics of afridi keep banging on about his batting, they completely ignore the fact that lala is one of pakistan's best odi bowlers. he's also a real competitor, a street-fighter, a man you'd rather play with than against. he's a man with a spine, unlike many of the easily intimidated pak youngsters coming through.

    and his batting? well he's not a man that should be coming in instead of inzy at 30-odd for 2, but he's a massive impact player in the last 15 overs of a game. he can also be gambled upon as opener on occasion. his critics don't understand his role in the team. he's not a moyo, never will be. but he has a license to hit, and can often change the complexion of a team batting effort. opponents fear him. all pakistanis should love this guy. a proud pathan, a maverick, a genuine matchwinner, a proud pakistani. forgive him his follies. cheer him when he hits a six, but don't then abuse him when he gets out repeating the shot. learn to love him, and he will become your favourite player.

  • ian on February 11, 2007, 16:06 GMT

    I can't help but feel sorry for all those who see racial overtones to everything. Their analysis is, all too often, based on their own predjudices and they then parade it as fact

    Gibbs and Afridi both got their fair dues.

  • Nightwatchman on February 11, 2007, 14:58 GMT

    mr geogg wilson

    I am not sure if you read the same comments on this page that I have read. Have another look. A great majority of Pak supporters have said the ban was justified and Afridi was at fault. Are you so prejudiced that you can not even digest what is so obvious. Obviously, as you needed to call us "sychophants" . What do you call someone who can not even read and understand plain English

  • Owais on February 11, 2007, 14:30 GMT

    Pakistanis need to be able to control their angers. Banning Afridi is a huge loss. Call up Fawad Alam.

  • Tank on February 11, 2007, 14:22 GMT

    Hey Talal Hasan, When are SA playing Pakistan in the UK? They are not? So, you are going to go and watch SA, or who ever, play England just so you can harass them?

    It is people like you that cause all the trouble. Also stick to facts please, no-one really knows what was actually said yet most people assume it was racist. Wake up, not every-one is obsessed with Racism as much as you are. Shame, you poor victim. The South African public get away with so much?????? Where about in SA do you live that you have such a good knowledge of what they get away with? Or do you base your immense knowledge and understanding on what you see for 5 hours on TV?

    For your information SOME of the Pakastani supporters behave far worse. Or was it SA supporters hurling abuse at Gibbs during the test match?

  • umer on February 11, 2007, 14:22 GMT

    If he was cleared by the match refree he should have been fine, only when he smash the crap out of african bowlers he was looked at his offense again. dont get me wrong i no what he did was wrong. and for the worldcup he will be picked will only miss one real match against the windies.

  • Abdullah on February 11, 2007, 13:29 GMT

    Whatever happened to Shahid Afridi is a sad thing but I am of the opinion that spectators should also be punished coz it was that idiot creature who prompted The Pathan to lash out at him. If that man is left scot free, he may prompt some more to rough him up...

  • Niaz Hussain on February 11, 2007, 13:16 GMT

    Morning Planning! Bob's Saying: inzi don’t play, this pitch is very fearful, defense only defense no need to play just make run rate 2.00, 100 is good score!!, now what happen with pitch, paradise for South African, I don't understand Bob's planning, it is favor or against PAKISTAN.

  • khansahab on February 11, 2007, 13:14 GMT

    i apologise to diverge away from the topic and speak to today's match. imran nazir should get one more chance only- in the final match, and if he misperforms (i am 90% sure he will) he should not be taken to the Caribbean. Razzaq should only be considered a reserve and a specialist bowler should take his position. Pakistan should open with Akmal and Yousuf, and a specialist batsman or Afridi should bat in Akmal's usual place- no. 7. Today's match is a classic example of a classic thrashing. I hope the supporters of the so called "Pakistani specialist openers" begin to see the light and realise that we need "global specialist openers" not those who can only play in the subcontinent. The whole system and conception of "opening" should be changed- its foundations must be rattled, and a common sense, reasonable approach must be used. After all combinations/ideas/"specialist openers" have been used, the residual idea- (to open with your specialist mature batsman), must, no matter how strange/abstruse, be the the right one.

  • Syed Nazir on February 11, 2007, 12:57 GMT

    I can't make sense of Inzi's tactics when Pakistan lose their top order. He seems to go into a negative frame. Instead of attacking and getting some valuable runs on the board he goes on the defence and waits for the inevitable fall of the tail. The 4th ODI against SA is a typical example. In similar circumstances the likes of Ponting, Tendulkar and Lara would try and get max runs knowing the tail will eventually collapse.

  • inqlabi on February 11, 2007, 12:25 GMT

    Bad decision especially timing of it. It seems ICC has acted out of coercoin from outside factors. Afridi shouldnt appeal because if president ICC is leveling charges then there is no chance of overturned by any one else.

  • faheem on February 11, 2007, 12:11 GMT

    Posted by: John at February 11, 2007 7:44 AM

    How come the Afridi incident was classed as racist - gibbs reacts to abuse he got from some asian parts of the ground and he is banned on the grounds of racism afridi swings his bat at a white person and no mention of a racist attack - double standards by the ICC i think? , it was probably because afridi reacted instantly, guy gave him stick and he swung the bat, he didnt stop to think, oi its a white guy im going knock his block off, watch the footage first then comment on it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS9TSgBRkd4&eurl=

    toodles :D

    rab rakha

  • Imran Shirvanee on February 11, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    I like the way Kamran Abbasi says that Afridi "is maturing with age". Because if that is the case, then he should be Test standard about the time he nears his retirment. Hey, you need just one Test to become memorable.

  • john on February 11, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    I'm sorry Ray if that had been a south african batsmen swinging his bat at an Asian supporter he would have been banned for life for being racist - As for the asian cricketing nations laying down are you sure - the Asian cricketing Nations especoally the Indian cricket board rule the Circket world. Maybe supporters should accept that in each country there are supporters that are out of order to players not just non asian supporters - remember the Gibbs incident I'm sure he was banned for verbally reacting to a group of asian supporters ???? And just for the record surely verbally reacting is less than physically reacting aftera ll threatening to kill someone is not as bad as actually trying to do it so logically Afridi should be banned longer than Gibbs.

  • Niaz Khan on February 11, 2007, 10:29 GMT

    I wonder how come Gibbs received less finie for his outbust. Andre Nell was not even fined for his antics in the middle-which all of saw. ICC has to be fair with all natinalities.

  • Shahbaz on February 11, 2007, 9:56 GMT

    Dear Kamran.

    As the team for World cup is going to be announced. I suggest you allow us (the readers) to post our team that we think should go to Carribean. Our voice might be heard at the helm of PCB and that help them choose the best team. PCB, I dont think is capable of selecting the best team on their own.

  • BubiSparks on February 11, 2007, 9:39 GMT

    Apparently all the spectator said was:"Boom Boom, go back to your room!!!" Not a comment I would have expected to elicit such a reaction. He must have been livid with his dismissal.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 11, 2007, 9:20 GMT

    calgary highlander;

    I am certainly more impressed by your gentlemanly sarcasm than your knowledge about cricket and hockey. And as a true highlander you have proved that something did crawl up died there! Oh btw, I was talking about ice hockey and not the one you play in your backyard. Everyone knows that the ice hockey fight is like professional boxing, a somewhat ritualized affair with clear punches being thrown by the players. This form of combat is known in hockey parlance as the "dance," as the players will often circle each other in a grapple, looking for an advantage. When a pair of well matched opposing players engage in a fight, the action of the referees is to "back off" while blows are actively being thrown. For a real British gentleman its like two gladiators fighting in the ice arena for life. There are jokes about ice hockey such as: "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out". So you can say that Afridi went to fight and a cricket game broke out. And, "Malcom in the Middle" made a speedy decision in ruling him out.

  • Mohammed Rehman Baig on February 11, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    Hi KAmran I Appreciate with u but the main things in Cricket is The ICC Rejects the Asian Teams Players ? i thinkh u havenot got my point What i'm going bto say u If any english People R the Australian Players does any type of non sense in the player r in the Arena they just Post Fine on them Not Ban. But if we compare To Shoaib Afridi And Others Like BAll tampering Verdict In which INzi Suffered the Ban of 2 Tests. Like hat the ICC has to put on Fines & Penalties not Banning zfrom the Cricket for One dayers R the TEsts MAtches ok Mohammed Rehman BAig (INDIA) Locating UAE (SHARJAH)

  • Tariq Salman Alvi ( Riyadh Saudi Arabia) on February 11, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    I agree that Afridi should be punished for his act and he should thank Allah (SWT) that his cricket bat did not hit the spectator, otherwise issue would have aggrevated and may be a period or life ban might have been imposed. I mentioned when Gibs was banned that spectators should also pay the price as they provoke the players, so some rules and regulations should be prepared and posted on the grounds e.g. fine, eviction from the ground and future ban if abuse is proved. As for as players are concerned they being professional players they should learn to behave and be patient in all the circumstances.

    Islam also teaches patience and I will mention one incidence from the Hdeeth of the Prophet (PBUH)where Abu Bakr Siddique (Allah be pleased with him) was abused by one person outside on the street and Prophet (PBUH) passed by and saw this man abusing and Abu Bakr keeping quite and not replying to his abuse, Prophet (PBUH)smiled at this and once Abu Bakr replied in the same way Prophet (PBUH) left the place. Later on Abu Bakr asked him why he left when he replied to the person who was abusing him. He told him that when you were quite angel was replying from your side and I was happy but once you replied the angel left so I also left as you both become equal. So the lesson for us is to be patient and Inshallah you will get reward for that. Players should also ask the ICC to take action against such fans who provoke players and specially when it is ratial abuse. Let us look at the solution and I agree with a gentleman who mentioned that we arrange two quick matches with Bangladash/Zimbawi or India to help Afridi serve the ban and usefull practice before the World Cup. It will be quick fix if it is possible.

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on February 11, 2007, 9:00 GMT

    Afridi was wrong agreed, but all sportsmen have some aggressiveness to their behaviors and that’s why they are sportsmen. More so, when they are Pakistanis and specially so when Pathans.

    As they say, a little bit of aggression is spice of the game, so be it.

    The sportsmen are humans like us and they, after having a hard day at office, have full right to show their feelings to anyone who ‘bothers’ them. It’s a simple case of any employee, having a bad mood, and venting his irritation on the first customer who comes his way. This is not correct off course, we all know, but the fact of life is that it happens .... always.

    I am NOT trying to justify what Afridi did, but making a case for all the sportsmen. They play and put in their best efforts representing a country, they are NOT paid-up monkeys, who will have ‘to provide pleasure’ to stupid fans and listen to their dirty abuses.

    On the other hand, ICC as usual was quick to slap the player, rather then standing by their side. ICC is the ONLY sports body in the world which ‘charges, punishes, bans’ its own players more then any other sports organization. Look at FIFA, Zaeidan almost killed a player, not a fan, but they even did not punish him as bad as ICC. I guess if someone does that in Cricket, ICC would ‘hang’ the guy and confiscate all his earnings.

    ICC will never miss an opportunity to punish a player and is not standing by their own players, but they will die to standing by the Darrel Hair ..... why so ?

  • S Akbar on February 11, 2007, 7:48 GMT

    Afridi has been punished for the offence ... fair ... but in this age of media led investigations ... there should be penalties for the opposite party too ... I propose that the troublemakers from the public should be banned for life to come to cricket grounds ... this should be a good deterrent for such miscreants ... ICC should be fair to both parties ... It is however quite astonishing to see such an incapable organisation at the helm of such an important sport at its highest stage ...

  • John on February 11, 2007, 7:44 GMT

    How come the Afridi incident was classed as racist - gibbs reacts to abuse he got from some asian parts of the ground and he is banned on the grounds of racism afridi swings his bat at a white person and no mention of a racist attack - double standards by the ICC i think?

  • Asif Attaullah on February 11, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    The way Afridi plays and reacts to every offense against him, it was certain to expect such act as he had just returned to ODIs and unfortunately got out on just 17 runs on his name. Punishment is right, but 4 ODI ban .. no no ... it is harsh. i hope that warm-up matches are on ICC ODI lists and our boy would be available in first encounter of WC 2007.

  • Ray on February 11, 2007, 7:18 GMT

    What nonsense! I am certain that if it had been a Pakistani spectator and a non-Asian batsman, nothing would have been done. Of course, in our country, we ensure that players and spectators are not that close ... where is the common sense?

    Also, what was the guard standing right there doing to stop this unruly spectator? Absolutely nothing! Afridi did not hit anyone, he warned the guy to behave himself. If the guy is man enough to speak nonsense, then he should accept the consequences of his own actions.

    Yeah, technically Afridi was wrong and should serve his ban and play the World Cup... they are making nice with the South Africans who are trying to equate racist comments made by Gibbs with a normal human reaction. But the most important question is that when are the Asian cricketing nations going to stop bowing down to the rest of the "gang" and stand up for their own. It really is becoming ridiculous. Equal treatment of players and nations is a real ICC issue. Some day, it will come to hurt this game that we all love. And that will be very unfortunate!

  • Ali Naeem on February 11, 2007, 7:11 GMT

    Well, this incident happened right in front of a security guard. The punishment is justifiable for Afridi - but the security guard didnt do jack when he saw this happen in front of him! Isn't he supposed to stop spectators from saying such things and to make sure such incidents are avoided?! Cmon!

  • iMrAn kHaN on February 11, 2007, 6:54 GMT

    Kamran, u seem to have lost ur marbles or maybe its that u like to lick the boats of ur white masters for a few dollars just like Osman Samiuddin and Ramiz Raja. Instead of putting the facts right about the injustices and bias shown towards the Pakistan team by the ICC including umpires and officials u go on and lie on ur back like the PCB.

  • Shahid Khan on February 11, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    I am a little surprised that it took so long for ICC to reach a decision on Afridi. They could have taken care of it right after the first game and that said he might have not missed any World Cup matches but again what about the awesome batting that he did in the 2nd ODI, I guess God is on his side that he played the 2nd ODI and I am sure because of that innings he will be in the World Cup squad. Did Chris Broad speak to the spectator? And I guess he did! How come he didn't speak to the spectator in front of Afridi?

  • aman sikander on February 11, 2007, 6:33 GMT

    to 'geoff wilson"...

    we the "holier than thou" pakistani supporters can understand how relieved a stinking apparthied supporter like you must be feeling now that you dont have to see Afridi now dismantle your bowling line ups and your egos...completely understandable how you can compare a his aggression to a racist remark from Gibbs...personally feel that he got what he deserved, and there are so many who share my views buts its people like you with garbage mantality, reeking with superiority complex who stink the joint.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 11, 2007, 5:42 GMT

    Thank you Ŧǻûħïŗą ƒŕõm Ĵämãîċā for your words of wisdom, for your generosity and for your LOVE for the BOOM BOOM Afridi. If you haven't come across the word "RACISM" in Jamaica, go to South Africa! You will be treated like a Queen.

  • Sultan Akhtar Patel on February 11, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    I think Kamran Abbasi is an armchair critic lacking in proper study of what is humane and human nature to understand. Without slightly siding with Afridi, it's a difficult phase for any batsman to returning to the pavillion, especially when he gets out cheaply. It's a bit gutful to be a walker facing the huge crowd. In the situation, any striptease to the batsman would be intolerable if we go purely on human side of business for nobody puts up with his insult at such a criical time. Human action and temperament can not be controlled in certain circumstances and to ignore that is like behaving "too good to be believed". Let natural reactions be expressed to some an extent for they are also like 'spices' augmenting the charm of the game. You can not discipline anyone to be as straight as a stick. This hard fact ought to have been to all ICI officials including Kamran Abbasi who seems to be in the full-time business of writing only 'goody-goody'.

  • AAMIR JADOON on February 11, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    Well its a huge controversy weather Afri deserves for punishment or not. Yes he deserve punishment but the way on which ICC gave him the punishment is realy a stupid way. Because they given the punishment after the due time and this is not the good one, it simply shows the one sided policy of the malcom Speed he onece again proved himself the most bised person for pakistan in the ICC. Becuse what ever Afridi did he would be punished with in 18 hours according to the rules of the icc but they punished him after the next match and this is just a srtupid act by the ICC.

  • Zaheer Gorsi on February 11, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    To some of those cricketing experts here who tirelessly keep criticising Afridi on his batting technique and how succeeds once after 20 games: How can you question the batting of an all rounder and best entertainer when he has scored close to 5000 runs in the ODI's with close to 100 run rate. If you compare his average with rest of the team then it is mere 6 points below the batting average of team Pakistan till date. His batting average in test (37.4) is well over team Pakistan (32.6). His bowling average is not bad either for a leg spin slow bowler. If you compare his stats with great all rounder from subcontinent(Kapil Dev), then you wont find a big difference. Incidently both have played over 200 ODI's and batting average for both at 23 plus. With such stats behind him, I wonder where do people come up with objections to his performance on the field. To me he is one of the great because of the entertainment value he brings to the cricket. Afridi should be made captain of Pakistan's ODI squad after Inzi decides to hang his shoes.

  • Alex Farooque on February 11, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    Yes Afridi is punished for 4 games, it's a justified decision but what about the spectator who initiated the quarell. I think when ICC refree hands out the punishment to a player, he should extend his recommendation for banning the particular as well from the ground. This type of justice is just natural and it will discourage other morons to shut up and let other people enjoy the the game. But don't ban the Mexican Wave. The last one was for CA. We are not living in Nazi controlled world or are we?

  • jadogar-spin on February 11, 2007, 4:52 GMT

    With cameras covering every aspect of the field, how come there are no pictures of the Afridi incident? Did he actually come in contact with the spectator? What was the extent of the provocation? How come no one has this infomation?

  • calgary highlander on February 11, 2007, 4:51 GMT

    Mr. Javed Khan, Monteal, Canada. Sorry but Gibbs did not serve a two match ban. He served a ban froma test, an ODI, and the 20/20. That kinda equals two four ODI's. Both Gibbs n Fridi kinda did the same amount of wrongdoings. Maybe Gibb's was a bit worse but Fridi was not too much better.As for fightng in Hockey Refs do step in. Hockey too is a gentlemans game. Infact if anything its more gentlemanly then cricket. At least there is no gambling, dope, players having fights with the audience, or racial abuse. Now go kiss ur precious poster, yeah the one with the canadiens on it.

  • Shahab Shahid Randhawa on February 11, 2007, 4:09 GMT

    The warm-up matches before world cup carry official status.As PAkistan and Australia played a warm-up match before champions trophy in England few years back and that was an official one day international match.

  • Virtuoso on February 11, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    All those ppl pointing their fingers at Nel or aussie sledging, dont forget the amount of abuse hurled by the likes of shoaib akhtar towards the opposition. Sledging of a player towards another is pretty common in sports and is pretty 'acceptable'. Also in majority of sports, fans of one team love to throw slendouros remarks towards the opposition. A clear example is in the case of football. Players are not allowed to intimidate the opposing fans otherwise they are banned and fined.

    PS: judging from majority of the comments, Pakistanis consider their cricket team the favourites to win the world cup, while the English consider their football team the best around the globe. Very stark similarity here though the reality is that English cricket and Paks'cricket team has individual talent but fail to play like a team and both arent going to be world champs in forseeable future. No offence intended though!

  • asiimm on February 11, 2007, 2:52 GMT

    The ban makes sense. Why wait so long to make the ban though ? How hard can it be to ban someone who has committed a wrong act. The sooner would have been the better, which would have meant Afridi could have played the opening matches of the world cup.

    Anyways our team looks extremely good at the moment and hope it keeps on performing the way they are. Afridi gone , hafeez should be brought in , the long batting line up has done the trick . This may sound absurd , but for these two last games if Mohd Sami is fit , bring him in for Rana Naveed.

    If umer gul , shoaib akhtar are fully fit for the world cup , pakistan have a very good chance to make it big. Fawad Alam i`ve been watching carefully could be given try.

  • Raj on February 11, 2007, 2:29 GMT

    Typical of Subcontinental supporters!!! Ofcourse what Afridi did was unacceptable. No one with any sense can defend what he did. People posting on this blog keep pointing their fingers towards rasism. It's been sickening to read. Why is it that desi's (especially Pakistani's) can't criticize their own? Any other country's fans would have ripped through their player if it had happened in their country. Only desi's look for stupid excuses and instead start to blame fans! Fan's are supposed to be FANATICS. I've been to live IndoPak matches. No other game like it. The fans (fanatics) are rude, abnoxious, and outright racist/prejudice...what comes out of their mouths towards the players on and off and near the field is disgusting...it's upto the player, who are supposed to be professionals to ignore that aspect of the crowd and focus on their own game as representatives of their respective countries! btw i love watching Afridi!

  • shihan on February 11, 2007, 2:21 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan and a great fan of single handed match winner Afridi.Its a fair judgement from both ways.A)Spectators now know not to mess around with players b caos the bat will land on your head b)Afridi will be always a better player if he could control him self

  • vaseem khan on February 11, 2007, 2:04 GMT

    The four ODI ban is too much, why Gibs was banned for two rather he did more mistake than Afridi,it shows the mentality of white people against us,second reason if this would have done by Ausis player he must have said player are also human being they are also emotional , remember the incident of Mcgrath abused Sarwan, and no body banned even match refree said that he is also human and can not hold him as a statue, so why when it comes to pakistani the ban always goes harder and harder, PCB is worst board in the world has no sense and respect, he should take action about this matter and there should be no ban or the one game only he did not react racial,what is happening this is all about PCB passivness in every matter........and one more suggestion pakistan should open the inning with Afrid and Nazin in world cup...........and take only 14 member team over there not to carry the absurd item like farhat and hafeez, yasir, zulkrain

  • Danish Khan on February 11, 2007, 1:44 GMT

    And for Jon who says to the line in your article about Australia's blip in form; bring it on...well Jon, first bring it on with the England team at your home, before thinking about bringing it on with us in the Carribean!

  • tinker on February 11, 2007, 1:37 GMT

    Paksitan really are becoming the bad boys of cricket.

    attacking fans, fixing matches ruining pitches(afridi again) taking steriods.

    when will it end?

  • Danish Khan on February 11, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    To geoff wilson who writes in these comments as us being so deathly silent after the hysteria we gave over the Gibbs issue. Firstly: willie boy, you will hardly find two or three people here that condone or uphold in high regards the acts of Afridi, secondly: please don't even go down the memory lane of Gibb's RACIAL taunts and save yourself some decency by comparison, thirdly: there is no hypocracy here being generated from us, hell! Get earth calling willie boy!! We are talking about the hypocracy of the ICC and its double standards being applied, and fourthly, presuming you as a South African supporter, I don't expect you to say Afridi is a good player for cricket, especially when he has and can still give South African team the thrashing of their lives! I'd finish by saying that spectators no matter who they must respect players and give you some food for thought: an injured tiger 500 feet away is as dangerous as a tiger 5 feet away! This will only InshAllah bring out the best in Afridi, so prepare yourself for some more bashing, that too in the World Cup. Afridi I pray will tear everyone apart, even if it means one stroke of genius (once every ten innings like everyone else is so banging on about), Ameen!

  • Asad Alam on February 11, 2007, 1:32 GMT

    I believe that Afridi is key player in oneday. if he didnot contribute with bat, but somehow he manage to contribute with Bowling & Fielding. I dont think that he is going to appeal against ban, his good form can deliver worldcup to Pakistan. Afridi, Razzaq And Azhar are good Allrounder. Pakistani team looks really good. I believe that in one day cricket, if two players in whole team play well, than any team can win the match. I am firm believer that Afridi is one of'em. ASAD FLORIDA USA

  • Abdul Waheed on February 11, 2007, 1:19 GMT

    While, most of us whenever bringing up or talking about an issue or sometimes a non issue are still either learning or trying to understand the true meanings of being politically correct, ICC is trying to make Cricket professionally and commercially more correct. This, at times is confusing and hard to tell what the ICC is trying to achieve more.

    I agree with you that Afridi should pay and Play. I also would like to make couple of more points.

    1- All ICC affiliated countries, especially, the test playing nations should put more emphasis on the training and teaching their cricketers how to cope and control their temper. All cricketers from the first class level must be made to attend these classes and sessions. All cricketers, including so called STARS must learn and follow these rules as, youngsters try to emulate the foot steps of their heroes.

    2- ICC must realize there is, and will always be a human element involved no matter how much and hard they try to enforce the rules. Therefore, steps must be taken to keep the players away from rude spectators.

  • bhinder on February 11, 2007, 1:10 GMT

    i am big fan but that way he out on third one day thats is not making any sence in cricket i left afridi way far and pick up dhoni he play with or in the situation great to ban like that player who have no respect for nay one concern team mate ot asa respect of spectators kya karega yeh 77 not out only for one match he have to learn how to play a good decent cricket in the playground as well as outside the ground

  • Khondkar Abdus Saleque on February 11, 2007, 1:01 GMT

    Afridi should not have reacted the way he did.He could have reported the abuse to the match referee. But his reaction deserves punishment and now Pakistan without his firepower at the crucila stage of the match against the host in the world cup opener will suffer. His bowling will be missed more than anything else in the match. It is unfortunate that after all these years he can not realize his importyance in the team.Behaving ireesponsiby he has risked Pakistans chances to beat a ressurging WI on their home soil.But then if pakistan consider them as a tournament favourite they should absorb this reverse.

  • Jag on February 11, 2007, 0:45 GMT

    It should read: when it comes to controversy, Pakistan is your team.

  • adnan on February 11, 2007, 0:42 GMT

    Afridi should have acted more professionally. Sometimes its not easy to control every person in the stadium, however, Afridi should not forget that he gets paid because spectators pay and come and watch the game. His foolish mistake has caused harm to the Pakistani team, but hopefully not that much, since he will be able to play in the WC. This is like the Zidane WC scoccer incidence, the good thing is that it happen in the WC cricket. Hopefully, Afridi will lean his leason.

  • IB on February 11, 2007, 0:41 GMT

    Well done Mr Speed, today you have proved that racism still exist in cricket against south asians. How come Gibbs had 1 ODI and 1 test ban whereas Afridi has 4 ODI. What are you planning for for that drunk trash spectator who really represented his culture. I firmly believed that the Afridi,s bat should have busted his face apart. Players are human being too and have feelings and no drunk spectator has any right to degarde a player like this. Now we would like to see that would you take any action against that spectator. OR would you take an action against Nel who have been sursing and swearing to Indian and Pakistani players since last 3 months throughout the series. I will be waiting for Nel right inside the Gaddafi stadium and ask him to behave like the way he is doing in SA against south asian players. Shame on ICC and shame on SA team and crowd. Afridi keep up the good work we need you for the world cup. By the way Mr speed who is your next target in pakistani team Shoaib Akhter or Asif or may be both for dope test.

  • AZFAR on February 11, 2007, 0:38 GMT

    Punishment to Afridi is OK. However one must not let the players forget that there are unconventonal methods to get them off the circuit. Yeah! A CONSPIRACY THEORY!! No, but in this world of match fixing, betting, there are always OTHER FACTORS. I will stop short of saying that PLAYERS must keep their cool at all times specially when the instigator is a non playing person. I am sure there are elements out there who know which player they can short circuit real quick and if that player is important enough or good enough he may be taken off guard and fall in a scenario like Afridi's. Emotions run and high and it is a good way of getting team in trouble! Any takers for this theory? Mr. Abbasi?

  • Jamal on February 11, 2007, 0:34 GMT

    dude no problems....afridi will miss 2 wc matches against West indies and Ireland.....anyone remember that we beat west indies without afridi last year :):) so no problems we are all set 4 a WC triumph

  • amir on February 11, 2007, 0:33 GMT

    the formula for pakistan cricket team for worldcup 2007:

    step 1: make clones of important crickters.

    step 2: arrange in following order:

    1.afridi(original) 2.afridi(cloned) 3.younis(original) 4.younis(cloned) 5.mohd.yousaf 6.inzi bhai 7.shoaib(original) 8.shoaib(cloned) 9.shoaib (cloned) 10. mohd.asif(original) 11. mohd.asif(cloned)

    step 3: win the worldcup :)

    but ofcourse PCB will have to shake loose every dime out of their pockets...hehehe.

  • Asif on February 11, 2007, 0:20 GMT

    Afridi has played three ODI games since his return, and performed exceptionally in one of them with both bat and ball. The other two performances were disappointing. Three games though do not tell us much. So putting so much faith in him (as you have) can be risky. I'm not saying that he shouldn't be included in the WC squad. Just that it would be a gamble. But then this is Afridi we're talking about. Its always a gamble with him.

  • Adeel Hussain on February 11, 2007, 0:19 GMT

    It was sad to see Afridi banned for 4 games especially after the punishment given Gibbs. I think it wasnt fair especially right before the world cup. He should have been banned for the remaining two games of this series and maybe one test but not any world cup games. But he did something stupid and should pay for it. Having said that, I think Pakistan better get their lineup straightened up soon before the world cup. The bowling should not be a concern. We will get Akhtar and Gul back (hopefully) b4 the WC. The main concern for pakistan is their batting lineup especially the opening. In my opinion, since Younis has been coming in within the first 10 overs anyways and doing a decent job at it, they should try to open with Younis and Imran Nazi in these last 2 games and bring Yousaf at number 3 followed by Inzi at number 4. This should solidify our top order and then Malik, Afridi, Akmal, Razzaq can follow in any position according to the game situation. The key for pakistan winning the WC is a strong and stable top order and I think Younis opening the innings is the key for that. Inshallah we will win the WC.

  • Jawad on February 11, 2007, 0:11 GMT

    All i want to know is when match refree, SA cricket board, PCB and umpires had no problem initially with Shahid Afridi, what was Malcomm Speeds problem? Perpahs M. Speed should be retired now or kicked out of ICC for his actions (dont forget he wanted to keep Umpire D. Hair). I think this is his way of revenge against Pakistan and Pakistanis. Its time we dont need Australians in any capacity at ICC. Im not saying that Afridi and Sub-continent players can do whatever they want but this punishment is very harsh as SA series is at deciding point and World cup is around the corner.

  • Nawed Ibrahim on February 11, 2007, 0:07 GMT

    Afridi did the right thing. It should serve as a lesson to all cricket fans, never mess with cricketers specially when they are carrying the bat. The best part was when Afridi stopped to pick up his gloves, that spectator would have been dead scared. zaardast yaar, mazaa aagaya.

  • Mohammad Athar Hameed on February 10, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    Why Gibbs was banned for only two game and Afridi for four? I am not justifying Afridi, He has done stuppid thing and he should be punished. If they have banned him just after it happened, Afridi could have played world cup. which is more important that SA series.

  • Naeem Butt on February 10, 2007, 23:47 GMT

    France paid the price in the Football World Cup, because Zidane did not tolerated the abusive language of an Italian player and Head-butted him during the play. The result was that France had to play the rest of the match with 10 players and ultimately lost that match and the World Cup.

    It is a sad reality in all sports that opposing players and the spectators use very abusive language. But when one is a professional cricketer like Afridi, he must be able to control himself. There is no other way around this problem. Just dont pay attention to what the spectators are yelling.

    And in case you cant control your emotions in response to such provocations, stop being a professional player.

    It seems that ICC is out to make an example of Pakistan after the Hair controversy. So my advice to all Pakistani player is to be extra cautious. Do not give ICC any more chances to ruin your chances of winning this World Cup.

  • Bilal Khokhar on February 10, 2007, 23:47 GMT

    Worl cup or not, Afridi did a very stupid thing and should pay for it. Fortunately as Dr. Kamran wrote, Pakistan will not suffer that much as there will not be many matches leading up to world cup crucial games. Cricket is a sport loved and followed by millions of people and all of the players invloved in it should have a much higher self control. They must not get carried away by the comments of any fool. These kind of people even don't have any selfrespect. Let's hope the last two matches in this series go to the wire and Pakistan come out as winner :-))

  • Ŧǻûħïŗą ƒŕõm Ĵämãîċā on February 10, 2007, 23:47 GMT

    Players are human beings and understandably they do get angry after hearing an upsetting comment by anyone. As in this case, Afridi's anger got the better of him when he thrusted his bat at someone in the crowd.

    I think players need to learn to control their anger as long as they are in the "playing environment", no matter what the case may be.

    So I agree with the decision to ban him from the 4 matches, regardless of the ones he'll miss in the World Cup. Don't get me wrong, I am one the biggest fans of 'boom-boom' Afridi but he, like any other player, should be punished for an act such as the one he committed.

    Good luck to him in the W.C.!

    -Peace!

  • Azam Ali on February 10, 2007, 23:38 GMT

    Dear Mr. Siddiqui

    Which Pak supporter does not want Afridi not to play in any of remining mataches after what he has done to SA in 2nd ODI?

    But problem is this that under rules the punishment for this ban between 4 to 8 matches, and he got 4 which is minimum.

    I hope this hot blooded pathan should learn how to control his temper and that would be good for him and Paksitan.

  • Hasan on February 10, 2007, 23:36 GMT

    Afridi is a human being just like everone else. There's a limit to everything and i am sure that Afridi was intimidated by the spectator as well as being angry from his dismissal. It was the spectators fault and Afridi only did what any one would have done, its sad that the incident happened but Afridi stood up for himself and if we were in his position im sure we would have done the same so theres no use of blaming him.

  • ahsan on February 10, 2007, 23:27 GMT

    I believe you can't clap with one hand. Players should have to restrain themselves as well as spectators should be kept at a distance from where the taunts cannot be heard from.

  • Ahsan on February 10, 2007, 23:24 GMT

    afridi usually performs well whenever he "comes back" in the frame.. after this ban,, returb in the world cup would be good as we can perform a solid performance from him, INSHALLAH

  • Ahmed Dharani on February 10, 2007, 23:23 GMT

    Well, I think Afridi is still in luck if the 2 warm up games at WI would count and he will be able to play the first game of the World Cup. (remember what Mark Vermeulen did in England county circuit and is accused of doing in Zimbabwe, too far fetched Afridi would end up like him). Afridi needs to apologize to all the fans and supporters of circket in general and should then get on with the game. He is such a wonderdful player to watch when in full swing with either bat or ball.

    All of us are human and will from time to time have a rush of blood and will behave in a manner that is not humane, but forgiving and forgetting is a divine thing and lets all leave the incident aside and wish Afridi and all the other cricketers and fans a World Cup full of runs, wickets and enjoyment. Ahmed Birmingham, AL

  • Arshad on February 10, 2007, 22:58 GMT

    Serve him right, idiots are ten a penny, as Afridi has proven. What Pakistan need is stability in their team, and this is almost impossible with their fitness and lack of education.

    The action of Afridi et al. leave a lot to be desired, I am embarassed of him. What talent, what fighting character yet what a mindless fool.

    The sentence is just, and it should be enforced, luckily for Pakistan the two world cup games are not important as two teams go throught to the stage where the real cup start.

    Afridi will prosper on the West Indies wickets, flat and full of runs, he will be a star and the timely return of Azhar will be a bonus to the team.

    Lets home we can have a tournie without any controversy. Pakistan are in with a shout if they can control and channel their aggression.

    Paksitan Zindabad.

  • Steve Sullivan on February 10, 2007, 22:56 GMT

    Afridi's punishment is harsh. He should be docked by a massive fine. Not be banned for matches. Banning Afridi is banning the crowds entertainment at the same time. Something has to be done for him to be adleast ready for opener against the windies. I hope the warm up games count. Like cricinfo says a thrillingly mercurial all rounder. Afridi plays a large role in the games success. And my word, watch out for him in the Carribean, he is going to mark the cup with a boom boom.

  • Haider on February 10, 2007, 22:47 GMT

    Well the thing is nobody cared about the incident. The spectator did not lodge a complaint both teams and their respective management and boards did not bother with it All four umpires officiating the game did not lodge a complaint. Yet Malcom Speed with his busy schedule took the time to watch the footage and laid the charges personally ??? I mean what the hell is going on here the ICC CEO should not have the authority to charge players he is not even present on the ground and officiating the match in anyway. If all the parties involved did not bother why the hell is he inveining ??? Even the media did'nt make a huge fuss over it. Malcom speed should stick to moving more of ICC assets to Dubai so they can enjoy bigger tax breaks. I mean in what capacity can the ceo charge the players with misconduct this is ludicris and should not be allowed. Its like premier of a stste or country coming to his judges and police and telling them to charge a person when they let it go and didnt think it was necessary. The actual people appointed to do the job should be left to make such decisions. This stinks of bias and reveals Malcom speeds personal agenda against the Pakistani team. Is he avenging his fellow Aussie buddy Hair??? How is it that he never watchs footage of Australian players abusing umpires on the field and pushing senior officials of stages and charge them ??? This whole incident is rubbish and should not be repeated. Malcom we can clearly see you personal agenda and you have lost all respect among Pakistani cricket fans.

  • Carlos on February 10, 2007, 22:41 GMT

    I think the punishment is about fair when all is said and done- Gibbs got banned one of each for using his mouth, Afridi gets banned 4 ODI's for deciding to use his bat as well.

    As for it being harsh because of a World Cup around the corner, it shouldn't matter what tournament or event is coming up really- you don't reduce a burglars sentence because his birthday is coming up after all.

    The games in the series have been excellent so far (besides the rainout) and there's no doubt Afridi's absence will lessen the prospect of more power hitting, but he has to pay the price for his actions, just as Gibb's did.

  • ash on February 10, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Its unfortunate that he did what he did, however players are human beings and not emotionless robots. It was wrong of him to wave the bat and also wrong of the spectator to say and make those actions at him. Perhaps a clout with the bat may of made the spectator think twice next time? However where was the ground security in all this ? for me that was the biggest embaressment and shock, that the security guard a) let the spectator taunt afridi and b) let afridi wave his bat in the spectators face.

  • pat on February 10, 2007, 22:26 GMT

    If this incident occured with an Australian player, who had been suspended in the last 12 months (for scuffing a pitch), how many people would be saying 4 matches is too many (especially seeing that 4 ODI's was the MINIMUM suspension for the charge)? How many people would be screaming for the maximum penalty? I agree with Kamran on two major points: 1. "...there is no excuse for thrusting a cricket bat at anybody. Afridi's behaviour was dangerous and irresponsible" - what if the bat had hit the spectator? 2. "If the PCB and Afridi have any sense they will accept the punishment, forget about an appeal..." I believe that 4 ODI's is a fair punishment, he should cop it, and think ahead to the caribbean.

    Just my two cents

  • Rizwan on February 10, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    I think Chris Broad made a very good decision..He punished Afridi but at the same time did point out that he was provocated..All over world cricket more should be done about player harassment..During the test series, there was video footage of some Pakistani supporters heckling Graeme Smith..that stuff should not be allowed..even during the CB series Mal Loye was shocked by the amount of racial tuants being directed at the opposition players by the crowds at the ropes..and the worst thing is that the security people at the ropes do absolutely nothing..

  • Umer Farooq on February 10, 2007, 22:23 GMT

    I'm quite disappointed that Afridi did not get a ban for eight ODIs! Afridi should not be a part of the world cup team.

    Though Afridi is maturing as a spinner, his all-rounder capabilities are a complete gamble. I would rather bet my money in a game of poker than on Afridi's performance.

    So what if Afridi performed well in the last match. I would rather have someone put on 20 runs on the board every time than having Afridi put on 75 every 15-20 matches or so.

    Moreover, Afridi did not display true sportsmanship during his encounter with the fans. Cricket, like all other professional sports, requires players to mature on an interpersonal level as well, not just in terms of skill. Afridi has not only brought cricket into disrepute but Pakistan as well.

  • Haider on February 10, 2007, 22:15 GMT

    Well the thing is no one bothered with the complaint. The spectator didnt lodge any official complaint. Both teams SA and Pak and their respective boards didn't bother with it. All four umpires didn't lodge any complaint even the media din't harp on about it. But despite his busy schedule Melcom Speed took the time to sit down watch the tapes and laid the charges personally what the hell is that supposed to be if the 4 appointed officials did'nt make a fuss the CEO should not have the right to charge playesat all I mean he is not even present on the ground or officiating in any capacity he should stick to moving more of ICC and its assests to Dubai to get tax breaks and let the appointed officials do their job. This stinks of bais is he avenging his fellow Australian Hair. This reveals some sort of personal agenda Malcom Speed has againts the Pakistani team. Where is he when the Australian players are swearing their heads off at umpires or pushing senior officials off stages dose he not watch that footage. He should be banning them too. This is just plain and simple rubbish. Malcom you have lost all creditability amongst Pakistan fans we can see your agenda.

  • Indian on February 10, 2007, 22:01 GMT

    I love Afridi's batting and his contribution to the team as a good leg spinner, who is most successful pakistani bowler in ODI in recent past. But I think punishment is justified, a player should know that they are not only paid for game but for their relationship with the spectators. But I am happy Afridi will not miss too much action in WC.

  • ali mirza on February 10, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    the fact that gibbs was only banned for one match where there was recorded evidence and afridi for four matches sounds like racism in itself!

  • Tanny on February 10, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    His actions were justified and i have all respect for him, he was provoked and should have tried harder to make a real impact, Don't Take Abuse Fight It

  • belal on February 10, 2007, 21:46 GMT

    yes you are rite khalid, but icc said we are not going to take any action againt afridi then rules come? what is this ?

  • Amyn Habib on February 10, 2007, 21:46 GMT

    Ah, another ode to Afridi! It is not at all clear that Afridi should play in the World Cup. After failing for more than twenty times, he batted well in a single game-- the second ODI against SA. It is difficult to place untroubled faith in the notion that he can make a real contribution. Here are some reasons why:

    1. Afridi came in to bat in the 39th over when the score was 222 for 4. In other words under really easy conditions, threw his bat around, and got lucky as he does once about 20 times he bats. Do you think he would deliver a similar performance if the score was 64 for 4? He lacks the mental toughness (and indeed the batting skills) to deliver in a pressure situation. When the going gets tough, Afridi always chickens out.

    2. Afridi has a long history of failure. He is hardly a new player. It is the same pattern over his career. One or two fast scores followed by a long string of failures. Do you really think he will improve—after ten years?

    3. One could consider him as a specialist bowler, but others are more deserving.

    He also seems to be developing into an obnoxious character. This is a total waste of a valuable spot in the team.

  • sreekumar on February 10, 2007, 21:41 GMT

    i agree with abassi it is a bit risky to appeal unless the appeal will be heard within the next 48 hrs. bcoz he cld miss a crucial encounter as oppossed to some valuable (no doubt) but not that important one dayers. There is no reason the warm up will not count as they are internationals and hence he shld be available to pay the inaugural match between pak and wi.

    pcb cld also appeal and suggest that the punishment be kept in abeyance till the appeal is heard. if the appeal is heard after the world cup.

    it is easy to critcise afridi but he is a hot blodded young man who has always played his cricket with a lot of passion even if he has lacked consistency some times. so when some smart alec shoots his mouth out just when he has lost his wicket it is normal for soem one like him to loose his cool

    the spectator also shld be banned for three years or so from attending any international cricket match. just as players shld be responsible so shld spectators. ofcourse the standard for players shld be much higher than that of an ordinary spectator

    more importantly why r they permitting spectators so close to the players what abt player security?

  • Shah on February 10, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    afridi is my favourite player, but he should have known better than that, sumtimes you just react without thinking but an experienced player should not react that way, no one can defend his actions, gibbs was banned for responding to abuse from crowd verbally, so afridi should be punished for what was infinitely more dangerous, a man of that power, slapping someone in the head with a bat, he nearly got an eight match ban, but chris broad...has been getting better and better at his decision making and rightly took everything into account, for that i believe the 4 match ban was just, so thank you chris broad, btw any one know what was said? :P

    Rab rakha and peace to all

  • Fareed Nasir on February 10, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    I just wonder what the spectator said to Afridi, and what punishment if any he has received for his behaviour. As a frequent visitor to cricket grounds, I think the way some people behave is utterly despicable. Players are treated like circus animals as these morons shout any abuse they can think of for no obvious reason. If these people can lay their hands on any missile then they will fire at the players just for their sad sense of amusement. Lets look at the things from Afridis perspective. Afridi is making a comeback, cricket is his profession (not just a day out like it is for that spectator), he wants to do well, team is nder pressure, Already hammered in the park, Afridi goes to bat, gets out, now he is walking back. Emotions have to be high (just as if that silly sod of spectator had just lost his job). Now this stupid fat moron puts his ugly face up and shouts abuse, without any provacation. What does he expect in return from Afridi?? an autograph. Well players are human beings and have feelings. Now pakistan might loose a very important ODI series and their chance in world cup can be dented by loosing a key player. We have video evidence (which we used to punish Afridi) against the spectator as well. We want to see the fat silly sod of a spectator punished, and punished heavily so other idiots dont do things like this. At this point he would be thinking, gosh I am so important that I have had a player thrown out just becuase of me. Go on cricket SA sue him wipe the sad smile off this dim wits face. So players can play without any abuse. I do think Afridi should have shown some restraint and his punishment is justified. However one way (more fair i think) of dealing with this situation would have been to punish the spectator in equal terms and then Afridi and the spectator offered the chance to make up so that both receive no punishment. Current state of affairs is too one sided. PS Kamran thanks for writing about this and allowing me to vent my spleen on this issue.

  • Naveed Butt on February 10, 2007, 21:27 GMT

    Yes I agree, Afridi should be banned but maybe four matches is a couple too many, he simply shouldnt have done it but then saying that he shouldnt have done a lot of things he's done on a cricket field representing his country, I think he'll make a massive impact on the world cup, anyway back to THAT spectator, I hope the South African cricket board has banned him for life, he can sit at home and shout abuse at his t.v !!

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 10, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    Dear Kamran:

    The post below includes a request to the President of Pakistan as Patron in as far as putting the house of PCB in order is concerned. Let's hope that something good comes out of this. We need to keep the ante up to see that the PCB chief is elected by the cricketing bodies/associations or some similar mechanism. This reality has dawned on many including "Think Tanks" in the country and nothing short of this would satisfy cricket supporters.

    Thanks as usual!

    ------------------------------------------------- Saturday - February 10, 2007 1.25 PM -Pacific Standard Time

    Needless to say that the Pakistan team build up to the 2007 Cricket World Cup scheduled to begin from next month in the Carribean’s has been far from ideal.

    Many may not have seen the latest ODI (One Day International) incident as Afridi made his way back to the pavilion and engaged with the spectator, the way he did and as reported.

    It is unfortunate but then, there is the saying "Better be safe than sorry".

    Apart from other coaching sessions done prior to team assembly in preparation for overseas tours, PCB should ensure to review player conduct rules with them as these are highly charged times afflicting this gentleman's sport.

    True, players do get carried away in the heat of the moment but as Chris Broad has revealed and summed up in his final verdict - Afridi's swing of the bat showed clear intent to hit back in retaliation and had the spectator not taken an evasive action, the end result could have been different. Team management must have been reviewing with Afridi how he could have tackled this situation, a little differently to avoid this unnecessary storm.

    The damage has been done. It would not serve any purpose crying over spilt milk now.

    Having said that, how similar incidents in the past were handled by the chiefs at ICC needs to be taken into perspective as well. To minimize double standards being applied in the case of our players, PCB should have in its fold, proper means and resources to effectively deal with such situations.

    This latest incident and the way this tour has proceeded on right from the very beginning - mired in controversies of selection and the obvious “Conflict of interest” exercised by those at the helm of affairs does not augur well.

    These are ominous signs that ask for a big time change in the culture at PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board).

    A big request goes out to President Musharraf here to kindly consider de-linking appointment of the chief or patron of PCB with the position of the head of the state. True, this has been like sort of tradition for long. But it is a compelling need of our times in this sport of cricket that as a nation we fervently follow and are passionate about.

    Thanks in advance from a team supporter!

    MOHSIN MALIK San Francisco, California USA

  • Jon on February 10, 2007, 21:17 GMT

    I believe Afridi is a very lucky person. Both Afridi and Gibbs were foolish and desrve to pay the price but 7 days ban for (possibly racial, certainly national) verbal abuse from 100m away for Gibbs versus 4 days ban for attempted physical assault for Afridi. Both cases had extenuating circumstances but I believe the bans should have been equal.

    As for Australia's blip in form Kamran, to that I say bring on the world cup!

    Happy cricketing.

    JB

  • Martin on February 10, 2007, 21:16 GMT

    Isn't it ironic that it wasn't the match referee who took note of Afridi's wrongful antic? Instead the ICC President, Malcolm Speed was the one who either saw it on TV or was told by one of his buddies (Non Asian) and decided to take action. Does he get involved when Andre Nel is abusive? Does he get involved when every team including England have complained about his own team and countries behaviour ? Afridi is right to be banned but it is unacceptable when someone like Malcolm Speed intervenes. The match referee is there to do his job.

  • Hussain on February 10, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    I agree. What Afridi did was awful and extremely unprofessional. Time to pay the price and move on. Let's not get into the race issue here (judging from comments in the previous entry). Keeping the Gibbs incident in mind, Afridi deserves this punishment. Lets worry more about naming of the squad before 13th Feb which seems impossible at the moment.

  • khansahab on February 10, 2007, 21:14 GMT

    Afridi needs to control his stupidity in the future. There are similarities between Afridi and Akhtar- we can’t seem to do with them or and we can’t do without them either! I daresay we have to accept that Afridi isn’t bright; if he was, surely he could have developed his rare talent into something more consistent and special. He has also been banned for scuffing the pitch- anyone remember? I do want to see Afridi play in the WC, but he has to be consistent. The PCB has to adopt this strategy of swift sacking following a reasonable period of poor performance. The folly committed with Imran Farhat should not be repeated again. Australia have suffered a setback alright, but I feel it’s only very temporary. The Aussies will come back hard and they will be rampant. Look at their bowling scorecards of the past year- (relative) newbies like Bracken/Johnson/Tait/Clark have generally been better bowlers than McGrath and Lee. With Ponting in the best form of his life and the ever reliable Hussey, Gilchrist and others, Australia should not be taken lightly. I dread to think of the consistency of these Aussies. With all due respect, if Australia have lost two matches in a row, does not mean it should be said that “they have gone out of form”. All this makes Afridi’s inclusion in the team even more necessary. I so hope to see a sensible Afridi and a fully fit Shoaib Akhtar in the WC…………… and definitely no Imran Farhat or Salman Butt.

  • Nabeel Adeel on February 10, 2007, 21:07 GMT

    Hi kamran well i think it is understood by everyone in the cricket circles that what afridi did was wrong and he the punishment he received was the right one.Afridi should be an automatic for the world cup and as u said the pitches in windies will suit him too.I did not know about the warm up matches being counted as official ones,if that is the case than afridi will not miss much.I think Pakistan have a good chance at the world cup but only if Shoaib and gul are fit to go with Asif.I want to add here that shoaib and gul should be automatic in the 15 for the world cup.Hopefully they will be fit and ready to go especially shoaib.Imran nazir should be in too with hafeez being the other opener.on current form i would drop rana and inculde may be sami or shabbir or may be Azhar.Rest of the squad should just pick itself.Again pakistan's chances heavily rely on support that asif will get from the other side in the bowling atatck and for that shoaib and gul are of utmost importance.

  • Dr. Hafeez on February 10, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    Salam to All, Mr. Malcom Speed would have not entered in this conflict, if that thing would have done by any english or an Australian player. He has taken the revenge of Mr Darell Hair from Pakistan, surely. On the other side, Afridi has again showed that, when he enters in the ground, he just forgets his brain in the dressing room. What a pity, that we people shout for inclusion of such players who dont have brain to use in cricket, which is, nowadays, more a mind game than just merely a physical game.

  • Umair Muzaffar on February 10, 2007, 20:59 GMT

    Although it is rather strange that Chief Executive of the ICC re-opened the hearing on Afridi after the Match Referee had dismissed it, yet there is no room for such antics from any international player and let aside a player who is a crowd favorite all over the world.

    Shahid has not only let himself down but all his fans down.

    I remember the first day of India Pakistan Test in Karachi in 2006 --- when --- I was sitting the Javed Miandad Enclosure and there was still a half hour to go before the start of the proceedings.

    Like other players Shahid Afridi was also warming up and as he returning to the pavilion after throwing a few balls and knocking the bat --- one of the people in the stands with me shouted --- "Shahid, Shahid Afridi" and Shahid Afridi looked up and acknowledged the spectator and waved back to him.

    This is how I would like to remember Shahid Afridi.

  • Hadi Shabbir on February 10, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    It is such a shame that a player with so much experience did such a stupid thing. First the pitch incident and now this one, Afridi needs to learn to control his temper (though he is not the only one in the team who needs to be careful). I like him as a player but incidents like this cannot be tolerated. I wish it was 8 matches ban!!! YES he deserves that afterall he is representing Pakistan!!!

  • Hamza Baig on February 10, 2007, 20:55 GMT

    That's very true. Our cricketers should really learn then how should you behave when you are representing your country. This really is gonna heavily cost Pakistani team, not only in the world cup but in the current series too. He was in a very good form both in batting and bowling and i am worried if this blow could change the result of current series.

  • Maj.Shujaat Awan on February 10, 2007, 20:53 GMT

    Well,to b honest,i as a Pakistani,felt realy ashamed and let down by what Afridi did.No justifications and no argumants can undo whatever he has.I stand by the ICC descion but what has pinched me is that y the action wasnt taken within stipulated time of 18 hours?Y after publicaly declaring the chapter closed,Mr.Chris Broad,the Honorable match refree,I wonder if he is any more honorable,opened the pandora box at the insistance of Mr.Malcom Speed,and last but by no mean the least,y it took Mr.Speed 5 complete days to order a desciplinary action against Afridi.What i want to ask is that where was Mr.Speed,an Australian by origin,at that time when Glen Megrath pushed and abuse Ramnaraish Sarwan during a test match in WI?Y Shane Warne was not even reprimanded when he was reported by the on field Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar for calling the umpire a CHEAT?Why does the ICC has double standards?Why do the WHITE players GET AWAY with absolutely NOTHING when their BLACK COUNTERPARTS get their THROATS CUT for doing some thing not even 10%of the WHITES? Being a FANATIC FOLLOWER of the game,I want to ask ICC that if on field AUSTRALIAN SLEDGING is TOUGH COMPETITIVENESS why then even our WHISPERS are dubbed as UNSPORTSMAN LIKE ACTS? Mr.Speed this is not how u run cricket,this is how u destroy cricket.You may have saved SA from Afridi's wrath but what will u do of the Nazirs,THE Razzaks,THE Azhars?You may have got rid of a bad dream,but the series of NIGHTMARES is waitng for u

  • Tanveer Bukhari on February 10, 2007, 20:51 GMT

    Well, the punishment for Afridi was on the way. He should start learning to play sensibly and not the way he played in the 1st and 3rd match against South Africa. He is a "piece of cake" when he come to bat for the bowler - but he become steelth warrior if he survive first 5 overs, which is so rare in his case. I wish him a bright career and pray for him to play like a player keeping himself on the surface.

  • Syed Rahman on February 10, 2007, 20:51 GMT

    Lucky Afridi and Pakistan team. Missing the last 2 remaining matches against South Africa and first 2 matches of the World cup preliminary rounds might not affect Pakistan team severely. I hope Afridi will make up pleasantly in the next world cup matches and make proud of Pakistan team and cricket loving Pakistani people.

  • Ahmed Siddiqui on February 10, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    Well, Its happend, and done. I think Afridi is a not a kid to understand this, He must behave good like a mature man and as u say he did some thing stupid. Crickters are also human being and specialy when you got out and some body hit on you you. it is some time very natural to response. But i think as match refree said also SA have some kind of responsibility to keep people out of some distence from players. Pakistan always giving VVIP standard for all visiting teams and i think it is bit too much to do. when our players going out there no country behave with them same like that. I see all this on last India Tour, then England and now SA. they just behave our players in normal and dont give them any kind of tretment like us. I hope Afridi and other players learn lesson from this.

    Ahmed Siddiqui Ex Vice President Japan Cricket Association

  • Abid Farooq on February 10, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    Isn't it possible to have Afridi start his ban now and still appeal. If the appeal results in his exoneration, which is highly unlikely, he may be available for the World Cup or maybe even the last ODI in South Africa. It may also be possible that his appeal results in a reduction in his ban, in which case he may be available for all the World Cup games. Normally a ban is suspended when a player appeals his sentence but is that a must?

  • Numaan on February 10, 2007, 20:44 GMT

    I find it hard to believe that you actually want afridi in the side! After 2 years of doing nothing he scores 77 or whatever it was and suddenly he deserves to be back in the side?! I don't think so lets face it as good as a performance it was by afridi it came in a match where pakistan were on top, granted they would not of reached 350 without him but they would have easily achieved 300. He showed his true colours in the next odi! A more balanced team is needed for the world cup.

  • amna ali on February 10, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    Afridi should play because he deserve it.he is the need of Pakistan in every match of world cup so it is our request to ICC that give him a chance and also the PBC should take action for benefit of for our team.

  • Aqil on February 10, 2007, 20:37 GMT

    Surely Afridi is a great grun if he is fireing. Seems like he is back to form and also bowling nice on these fastbowling pitches in SA. He last time had a decent tour of WI combining the calmness of a matured cricketer with his basic nature. He is a legend in his own way and deserves to be in any Onedayteam.

    Inshallah he will succeed and with him PAKISTAN.

  • Omer Admani on February 10, 2007, 20:30 GMT

    Well, I had said if he is foolish enough to do it once, he is foolish enough to do it again. In any case, the punishment was fair, even more so in light of the Gibbs incident. I think Afridi will be missed not so much for his batting, but since Rana keeps on flourishing more and more at the start, his bowling will be missed.

  • Imran Mohammed on February 10, 2007, 20:26 GMT

    Shahid Afridi's behaviour was childish and silly, and deserved to be punished so let that be a lesson to him. This wonderful cricketer is a vital cog in the Pakistani machine for World Cup success so I think he should leave the appeal and sit out the next 4 games. Appealing the ban is a bad move, because although it would let him play the next game in South Africa, if the ban is upheld it would mean he would miss a further World Cup fixture and that is something this team must avoid. I have great faith in Boom Boom Afridi, lets hope he can smash our world cup opponents to all parts like he was born to do.

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on February 10, 2007, 20:26 GMT

    In addition to my suggestion earlier, Afridi could still appeal this act of injustice, whup the South Africans --if the ban holds up...have Kenya or Bangladesh visit Pakistan for a crash course in Cricket and play 4 ODIs

  • syed rzwan on February 10, 2007, 20:22 GMT

    Afridi is a match winner for pakistan.His presence in the playing eleven sends shivers through the opposition.Hence he should be on the plane to caribbean.His presence is very essential in super 8 .Bcoz pakistan are definitely going to get there.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 10, 2007, 20:21 GMT

    IT IS very easy to say that Afridi must pay the price for his irresponsible action and then play in the World Cup. In my other posts, before this thread started I have said that, 'Afridi shouldn't have done what he did'. And in another follow up post about what is "disrepute in cricket?" I have talked about the ICC's VETO power. It is good that Mr. Kamran Abbassi has opened a new thread to discuss this very important issue, which in my opinion is not just about Afridi but for Pakistan's honour, pride and dignity.

    Mr. Abbassi has condemned Afridi's action like most of us because cricket is a gentleman's game. In soccer, spectators can hurl missiles at each other or even throw a home made bomb on the face of a policeman and kill him. In ice hockey two players can fist fight inside the arena, in front of the whole crowd and the two referees watch them till one of players falls to the ground. In cricket there are two set of laws, one for the whites and one for non-whites. The later are of course not the gentlemen.

    In someway or the other we all tend to accept the law of the white man as superior and especially when they thrust upon a non-white person or a non white nation and we say, we have no choice but to accept it. The question is, how big or how long are the hands of ICC? What is ICC's jurisdiction and what are its responsibilities towards protecting and safe guarding the players? Is it restricted only when the players are on the ground? Or does it allow ICC to go beyond that and probe into what is being done or discussed in the dressing rooms?

    If this is an example that ICC wants to show to the rest of the world that Herschelle Gibbs was penalized, so Afridi cannot be left off the hook. In my opinion there is NO similarity in both cases. Even if it is proved that the man in question was harassing Afridi with racial slur or personal abuse towards him or his family, whatsoever. The finer point that is to be noted here is, what Gibbs said to the spectators was a cold blooded and thoughtful reaction and while he was badmouthing he was on the ground. Whereas, Afridi was NOT on the ground, he was on the steps that leads to the players dressing room and his reaction was very sudden.

    Now, that is my point, why Gibbs was handed over a two match ban and why Afridi has been banned for four? There doesn't seem to be any disrepute to the game that Afridi has brought, he was out of the ground, his reaction was not towards the umpire or the players, just because the camera picked up that incident doesn't mean that it should be used against him as an offense. If, there is anyone who should warn Afridi for such behaviour, it should have been the team manager. Or, if that was such a serious case of assault, then it should have been referred to the police, then it is another matter, which did not happen. No one even reported this incident to anyone. But, someone definitely thought it is a very good opportunity to get him, nail him down, grab the bull by its horns and then couriered the video to "Speedy Gonzales" who was in the Caribbean then and he comes up with the verdict through his Broad.

    Recently Bob Woolmer and Shoaib had a row in the player's balcony and the camera, plus the audio picked up the heated debate. That is also a disrepute to the game, the ICC should ban Shoaib and Woolmer for 4 matches, may be for all the WC matches! What a joke? Why can't the ICC restricts its role on to the ground and for the game only. Why does it have to go into peoples bedrooms and behave like a bully? And why are the rules not applied on all the players and the cricket playing nations EQUALLY? Why did Justin Langer got off the hook from a similar case? Why didn't they ban Ricky Ponting for his serious offense against the umpire?

    Mr. Abbassi should not worry about the appeal, because Afridi has already confirmed that he is NOT going to appeal. This means not only he is flying back, but also gonna miss the first 2 matches or rather one crucial match against the WI in the WC as Mr Abbassi says. It may sound OK as the way he has explained, but in reality those two matches in the WC would have certainly helped Afridi in boosting his confidence. Bringing him in crucial matches is like, throwing a novice in the deep sea. A good batting performance against a weak Ireland or a good leg spin bowling performance against the West Indies would have definitely helped in boosting Afridi's confidence. Never mind Mr. Abbassi, people can see that the glass is half full and not half empty!

    BUT, once again the honour and prestige of the player and the country is sacrificed by accepting the ruling imposed by the tyrants. As far as Afridi is concerned for him its a tragedy that he has to go through the agony and deal with the pangs of his own conscience. First, the real pain that he could not control it in repressing his emotions and then this psychosomatic pain that ICC is inflicting upon him, is a tyranny. Given the situation in which Afridi or Pakistan is, anyone would say, OK accept the decision because you have no choice! Yes, Beggers can't be choosers and Winners can't be loosers. In my opinion if this case is not sorted out with the ICC now, then PCB should drag them to the court of law to get a fair trial after the World Cup. Otherwise, with this attitude Pakistan will always be a looser.

  • Omar Mughal on February 10, 2007, 20:12 GMT

    A sportsman should not get punished on his emotions but on his performance. He plays to win, if he gets frustrated you can expect things like that, you must punish, but not in such an extreme way. If you do, sports will not be interesting anymore. I'm right, ain't I?

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 10, 2007, 20:11 GMT

    Saturday - February 10, 2007 12.10 PM

    Many may not have seen the incident as Afridi made his way back to the pavilion and engaged with the spectator, the way he did and as reported.

    It is unfortunate but then, there is the saying "Better be safe than sorry".

    Apart from other coaching sessions done prior to team assembly in preparation for overseas tours, PCB should ensure to review player conduct rules with them as these are highly charged times afflicting this gentleman's sport.

    True, players do get carried away in the heat of the moment but as Chris Broad has revealed and summed up in his final verdict - Afridi's swing of the bat showed clear intent to hit back in retaliation and had the spectator not taken an evasive action, the end result could have been different. Team management must have been reviewing with Afridi how he could have tackled this situation, a little differently to avoid this unnecessary storm.

    The damage has been done. It would not serve any purpose crying over spilt milk now.

    Having said that, how similar incidents in the past were handled by the chiefs at ICC needs to be taken into perspective as well. To minimize double standards being applied in the case of our players, PCB should have in its fold, proper means and resources to effectively deal with such situations.

    This latest incident and the way this tour has proceeded on right from the very beginning - mired in controversies of selection and the obvious “Conflict of interest” by those at the helm of affairs does not augur well.

    These are ominous signs that ask for a big time change in the culture at PCB. This is bound to happen sooner rather than later, keep fingers crossed.

    Mohsin Malik San Francisco Bay Area

  • Umair on February 10, 2007, 20:11 GMT

    Shahid Afridi's one-off performance at Centurion was wonderful, but I'm quite sure that he will be unable to repeat his feat come next month's World Cup. Afridi's inconsistency over the years has depreciated into failing consistency, that he repeatadly makes the same mistakes and seldom plays a big innings for Pakistan. Innings such as the one at Centurion are unfortunately fluke events which happen once in a blue moon. That being said, his leg spin definitely deserves him a place on the side, and will ultimately secure his ticket to the Carribean. However, in all this I find it quite amusing that our next big spinning hope, Abdur Rehman, seems rather forgotten! Does he have a ticket to the World Cup?

  • tariq ali on February 10, 2007, 20:08 GMT

    Afridi made a mistake and will serve his sentence. Obviously, the bloke in the crowd said something to him which got him angry, but it was wrong to react in the way that Shahid did. But hey, we are all human beings and as such are fallible to silly mistakes.

    As for the strategy that the Pakistan selectors and management have stumbled across - one where we bat all the way down to 9 or 10, with Azhar Mahmood finally called in. That is the best accidental stumbling the idiots at the PCB have done in many a year. Azhar at 9 could be a master stroke. It gives depth to the batting side and another bowling option.

    If we assume the 11 that played in the last game will be part of the 15 for the world cup (assumptions are never to be made when referring to anything to do with the PCB!), the final 4 places will goto Hafeez, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul and then the proper spinner - ideally Danish Kaneria, otherwise it will be Abdur Rehman.

    On paper the squad looks good. Finally, Imran Nazir and Azhar Mahmood have been given a chance and they look good options to have in the Caribbean. Why has it taken so long to bring these two obvious talents back in the side? No disrespect to Rao Iftikhar but surely Azhar offers more to the side. Hopefully, Azhar will work hard on his fitness from now on and go with the squad.

    At last we see that park player finally booted into touch. Imran Farhat is the biggest unfunny joke the PCB have played with in recent years. Shockingly, it has been by accident that Imran Nazir has finally got a chance to replace that untalented park player.

    Just hope that when the final squad is announced it will be: Inzi, Yusuf, Younis, Imran Nazir, Hafeez, Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Razzy, Azhar, Rana, Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Asif and Danish (Abdur Rehman as the alternative). Shabbir looks teh one unlucky chap to miss out, but he isn't fit and it would be difficult for him to get in ahead of the other bowlers if they are fit.

    With this squad we surely have a good chance of reaching the semi finals, and then it is anyones trophy. Just hope we can get the fast bowlers fit! And that the PCB dont pull one of their horrid masterstrokes and pick Farhat, Miandads nephew and Majid Khans son! Surely, even those bafoons must realise that they have managed to accidentally stumble across the best one day squad we can take to try and win the world cup......

  • Waqar Sarwar on February 10, 2007, 20:07 GMT

    I think the punishment is little harsh for Afridi because if you look back what Gibbs has done he should be banned only for 2 ODI's or 1 Test.

    Not fare with Pakistani lad. He should appeal against it. I dont no why Andre Nel dont get any punishment for his behaviour on the ground. Another bad desicion by match refree.

  • Dr.Usman Khan on February 10, 2007, 20:04 GMT

    I find it difficult to understand why did Malcom Speed exercise his autority to lay the charges against Pakistani player.I doubt he would have done that if an Australian cricketer was involved.What Afridi did was unacceptable,but the specatator did not lay any charge nor did the match refree,then why did Mr.Melcom find it necessary to raise this issue.He did not say even a single word when pakistani spectators were called 'bunch of animals' by a white 'human'.

  • RIZWAN on February 10, 2007, 20:02 GMT

    Once again double standards are being adopted by the match refree. Gibbs makes a racist remark , which is far more serious than a twirl of the bat by Afridi , and gets banned for one test , one one day and an unimportant 20/20 whereas Afridi has to sit out 2 very important games in a World Cup that is held ONCE IN FOUR YEARS . Not fair Mr. Broad , not fair at all .Also why isn't Andre Nel ever punished for his tirades in the indian and pakistani tests .

  • B AFRAIDI B VERY AFRAIDI on February 10, 2007, 19:58 GMT

    APARTHIED AFRIDI,first test of this Ashes.....Australian opener Justin Langer got out and was going back to pavilion,on stairs one spectator gave some comments on him and he stood,returned and angirly exchanged words with spectator.He showed bat to him and then some security persons finished the matter.This was shown on TV many times but at that time ICC and Malcom Speed did nt recognize it as "brininging game into disripute".......No charges were laid by match refree neither Malcom speed.Why..... It happens only to Asian and specailly pakistan team.WHY this discrimination if rules are there then they should be used on all teams including Australia,SA.Andre nel can say and bark at batsman as he wishes. while afridi already frustrated by loosing his wicket n is not even outta ground, a white spectator provokes him, and afridi is given 4 matches ban just for swinging his bat to a spectator,while nothing against the spectator who provoked him,instead he is giving his 5 SECONDS OF FAME

  • Shahid Faruqui, Detroit on February 10, 2007, 19:57 GMT

    He should have done better. He was comining after Hajj and that should have taught him restraint. I am surprised at the law and order situation in the Pakistani camp. I think the conrol by Pakistani board will be far better once World Cup is over and great INZY and the party are gone. I am not implying that current board guys are angels

  • Salman ELahi on February 10, 2007, 19:55 GMT

    Whats done is done. I agree, he should accept the ban and be assured about his inclusion in the worldcup squad. The worldcup this time around is a long tournament, much like the 1992 version, with every major nation playing each other at least once: 11 games for making it to the semis. So sitting Afridi out on small grounds and low bounce pitches of the West Indies is ludicrous. I dont think he'll be as effective with the bowl as with the bat. The 15 man squad should've these 10 players: Inz,M.Ysf,Younis,KAkmal,Afridi,S.Akhtar,MAsif,UGul,SMalik,Razzaq, The other 5 ought to come from: M.Hafeez,IFrahat,ImranNazir,AzharMahmood,AbdurRehman,MSami,Ranaved&S.Butt

  • fhs on February 10, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    Agreed! Afridi must not left out of ODIs period! It is sad that he is out for 4 ODIs. My understanding is 4 ODIs include first 2 matches of WC. They are games against WI on 3/13 and Irelend on 3/17, which is okay bc 1st round is not that critical. His absence in last 2 games against SA will cost us!

  • Zubair Shahab on February 10, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    I understand that if an appeal is carried out he will be allowed to continue playing. Is it possible for the PCB to sit Afridi but still exercise the appeal and make the rested game count as part of the ban in case the appeal does not come off? If Afridi is forced to sit out the World Cup then it really is defeating the purpose of the appeal since he is forced to miss more crucial games. The ICC is at fault here because they originally decided not to ban him which allowed him to play ODI 3 which had no result. If they had announced the ban along conventional lines then we would not be in this kind of situation. The PCB should make some kind of move to protect its players and act against this unfair though not necessarily biased move by the ICC.

  • Kiran Muzzama on February 10, 2007, 19:44 GMT

    Afridi's punishment is fair enough. The first 2 games of the World Cup wont be too bad for Pakistan, we have a good record against the Windies and as for Ireland - a Pakistan Under 19 team can beat them, forget about our national side. So nothing is lost. However, Afridi should be a little more careful with his actions. I do think however that South Africa is the worst place to play International cricket. Their players are closet racists and loud mouths - eg Gibbs, Boucher, Nel, Smith etc and their crowds are full of racists and drunks who make it a point to verbally abuse the families of visiting teams players and so on. The ICC should really do something about this. As for the Pakistan team, I hope they learn how to sledge properly and give the South Africans a good dose of the very same the next time the Proteas are in our own backyard. For now, the Pakistani team should just go out there and play the next 2 games and get the hell out of South Africa as soon as possible so we can concentrate on what really matters - the World Cup.

  • Zaheer Gorsi on February 10, 2007, 19:40 GMT

    Great decision by Chris. The only negative impact on out team performance will be for rest of the two matches in South Africa. The main utility of Afridi on consistent basis was his performance witht he ball, while team is running short on bowling resources due to injuries. For the WC, team will not suffer much with the absence of Afridi as we will have our main bowlers back in the bunch. And these are only two initial games of the tournament. Time to move on with a lesson not to lose temper ever.

  • Karim Shaban on February 10, 2007, 19:39 GMT

    Kamran, Please clarify ... Are the two warmup games official ODIs. If yes, then I dont see why Afridi would be ineligible for the West Indies game.

    But the other article on cricinfo seems to suggest that he will be ineligible for that game.

  • sumit bansal on February 10, 2007, 19:39 GMT

    what afridi did was stupid.....period. ppl like afridi should receive longer bans because they are not capable of keeping their emotions under control.

  • Sharmeen Desai on February 10, 2007, 19:37 GMT

    I personally don't think the ban is harsh at all. In fact, these guys were intending to ban him for 8 ODIs to begin with. So given the fact that he ended up receiving a 4-match ban for doing this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqgTZUw09T8 is more an example of fairness than vicious justice. Secondly, those who think that the ICC or Malcolm Speed is out to get the Pakistanis need to re-evaluate their stance in the light of the fact that what the opposing party said was never considered a legit excuse for Zidane and niether Gibbs. Therefore, the notion that Afridi shouldn't have been punished at all because probably something vile was said to him is half-baked and I'm afraid, a little self-righteous. In fact, advocating absence of punishment for Afridi's offence is a bit like most people backing the U-turn in the doping case. If you guys can ever develop an ability to look at things 'objectively', if you can for once put aside your passions and your interests, it's not difficult to fathom how crass, how utterly ignoble the ban-overturn looked then, and how hypocritical the battlecry to let Afridi go scot free sounds now. Having said all this, I hope he clicks in the world cup. Sometimes I wish he would trade just a little speck of his brawn for a bit more of brain. He so could have been the most destructive batsman in the world on a consistent basis. Oh well, so much for could-haves and should-haves. Cianara and au revoir.

  • Kashe on February 10, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    At the international level, players should be ready to receive any type of comments from the opposition or crowd to influence their performance. Its no different then sledging on the field. Afridi is no new comer and the punishment was due but 4 ODIs is a bit harsh. I believe PCB/Afridi should appeal not to remove the punishment but to lessen the ban to 2 ODIs. Afridi has matured into a very valuable senior team member. There is no doubt in is talent as an alrounder and the confidence he brings with him. He is the only batsman next to Gilchrist that ballers all over fear most. Fortunately Bob Wolmer and Inzi are aware of this Pathans talent!

  • Iqbal on February 10, 2007, 19:33 GMT

    This comment is in regard to world cup (WC) preparatons for pak. I have been watching Pakistan cricket since my childhood, although not from that country. I have observed, the more agressive they play, the more they succeed. In general, if they have good opening partnership, they put up huge score, unlike other world cricket teams. So they should try to get the best opening option available. Salman and Imran may be one of the option, NOT Akmal. I think Imran can do wicket-keeping. I am sure , he can of Akmal's quality. This will make a good option for other batsman or bowler. One more glitch is their bowling. Rana is not an option anymore. He has been well read by most of the opposition. He can make way for shoaib. For Razak and Azhar, only one allrounder should be played in one match. That would make way for omer gul as bowler. Sami should be taken to WC, but only played as replacement for an injured bowler which is likely to happen, seeing the record. I hope not in a crucial match. One more concern with pakistan team, which was not inherent is lack of proper education with these kids.This is reason, sometimes they make silly mistakes both in-field or off-field. Inzi has been known long enough internationally, and he knows during this time, even a silly mistake makes them vulnerable to lot of media criticism. He should talk to his squad often during the game. He should make afridi to learn that he should atleast get used to pitch, bounce and then start his boom-boom. he can be a wonderful, if he just controls this small instinct. Matches are played between teams, not between individuals. For this reason I think inzi should always talk to his team, no matter how senior he may be. He is the leader and he should hold the edge. This is very important for their WC plan. So likely the team for WC can be (Salman or Hafeez) (Imran) 3.YK 4.MY 5.inzi 6. Sho. M 7. S afridi 8. A. Ra or Az Mah ( rotate them) 9. Sho. AK (if,option sami) 10. U gul(if option shabir) 11. Asif ( keep him fit. As I said Wicket keeping is with Imran N. Believe it or not, their win makes my day

    Thanx

  • Asif Naeem on February 10, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    It was not just an ordinary incident but pre planned to revenge of Gibbs ban, which Afridi got trapped in. You cannot imagine the happiness of SAPA and celebration on this ban in South Africa. Why the spectator was taken into custody or thrown out of the ground immediately like those pakistani supporters involved in Gibbs case, where there was no video footage available proving misbehaviour of pakistani supporters. In Afridi's case security guard is just standing two steps from Afridi and watching the spectator passing comments to player. I think Malcom Speed should have issued warning to Afridi since there was no official complaint lodged against him. One thing is for sure that Speed's decisions are always against Asian Players. Hoping good for Afridi and wish he does not loose courage as world cup is commencing ahead.

  • Usman Tohid on February 10, 2007, 19:28 GMT

    Afridi made a mistake and he should pay the price for it. I am a hufe fan of him, but this type of behavior is unacceptable. He is a professional athlete and thousands of kids look up to him as a role model. He should have acted as a professional and ignored the comments by the spectators. I totally agree with you that PCB should forget about appealing and just focus on getting the players ready for the World Cup. Im looking forward to seeing Afridi, along with rest of the team, play in the World Cup and hopefully we can make a run for it.

    Thanks,

    Best wishes to all.

  • Mohammad Manzoor on February 10, 2007, 19:27 GMT

    The moment i saw the footage afridi pointing out his bat at spectator i knew he was in trouble.i told my brothers that he is going to be banned for atleast two odis.anywat came the next day, checked cricinfo all day to see if there was any action taken against him..nope..Surprised..then the reason came..that south African managment didnt file a complaint,niether did any officials,fair enough but hang on MALCOM SPEED has the right as CE to press charges agaisnt afridi....Oh great, he has till friday to take action..sure Malcom speed will take him time, see how afridi performs in next match and then decide whether to press charges or not..Boom,afridi made 77* off 35 balls and takes 3 wickets. Malcom speed thinks,hmmmmm this bloke can be dangerous in the WC, ok thats how we will do it..we will let him play one more game and then ban him for 4 odis. so if he appeals, he could risk 4 odis in wc as he'd be avialable to play for pak agasint SA while the appeal is pending.. The Morale of story is that WHY THE HELL DID THEY NOT BAN HIM RIGHT AWAY? oh and Mr Kamran ,FYI warm up matches don't count, Afridi will miss first two WC matches and he did the right thing not to appeal.. oh no Afridi in next two matches......what a pity .:(

  • geoff wilson on February 10, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    Why the deathly silence from the holier - than thou Pakistani supporters.? Where's all the hysteria that followed the Gibbs swearing incident? Just what is THE WORSE OFFENCE -being goaded by a supporter, and swearing at him (unheard, were it not for the stump mike) or aiming the business end of a cricket bat at him? The answer is obvious !! Afridi's action was TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE, and any cricket lover should acknowledge that without question. But as per usual, the sycophantic Pakistani supporters are deathly quiet. But - why are we surprised ? Pakistani cricket supporters never see fault with their own nation's cricketing misdemeanours - omly those of others. And I for one, am heartily sick of their hypocrisy. Afridi is a dishonest cricketer - his attempts at screwing his heel into the pitch on a length is testament to that, and attempting to assault a spectator is pure hooliganism - no more, no less. Plus which, he's just a brainless slogger who comes good one innings in ten. He should have been banned for the whole world cup ! Or maybe not though - his absence from the Pakistani side would no doubt have strengthened their team. The man is a disgrace to cricket.

  • Shabir on February 10, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    He is irepressible and impetous. Also a match winner. However, what makes a great player is someone who has sufficient control to suppress his impetous side, except when dealing with the ball (sending it down or receiving it). I do wish all Pakistani players can learn to be cool calm and collected.

  • ammar ahmad on February 10, 2007, 19:09 GMT

    Why Malcom Speed, Chief Exec., of ICC reacts to incident when it wasn't reported by either match referee or Cricket South Africa. Australian proves again to be a racist. 4 match ban is bit harsh but not wrong. Afridi deserved it!!! That means we gonna lose our next 2 matches to S.Africans.

  • anwar ,los angeles on February 10, 2007, 19:06 GMT

    the afridi incident is sad and very unfortunate for pakistan team,afridi and the entire pakistan team needs ear plugs in the world cup ,so they don't hear anyone abusing them verbaly.and ....just like "brothers in islam " bangladesh should arrange an emergency ODI tour of pakistan for next week,and help brother "afridi" out of this jam (ban)..just like wasim akram and co have done for them in previous world cup..."how is that"..?

  • Abdul Baseer on February 10, 2007, 19:06 GMT

    The punishment sounds very harsh. Players are after all human beings and the game makes their emotions run even higher. This shouldn't have been counted as level 3 offence in the first place. ICC should think over it.

  • Euceph Ahmed on February 10, 2007, 19:05 GMT

    Well, this is what you get when you put a lesser value to your players' well-being than other teams. Air-tight security is provided to teams especially those from Australia, NZ, England, and South Africa when they visit Pakistan. Exemplary hospitality is provided to those who do not have the most rudimentary understanding and appreciation of it. If they did they would reciprocate in kind. Instead, the response you get is verbal assault from their players and utter abuse from their spectators all working in unison to provide cannon-fodder to their media when our team visits their countries.

    Why can't the sports ministry in Pakistan dispatch security teams to ALL countries ahead of Pakistan team's visit to those countries to assess the security situation in those countries is a question I'd like to ask. If anything, this Shahid Afridi incident proves that spectators in the western countries need to be caged in just as they are in Pakistan, India, etc. If the PCB and the government of Pakistan had any character it would ask the South Africans to protect its players from their unruly and uncivilized spectators. Inzamam as the captain should've voiced his concern about the security of his players. But why would the citizens of a lesser country think along those lines?

  • Saiful Ansari on February 10, 2007 on February 10, 2007, 18:54 GMT

    Afridi is an explosive cricketer and an asset to any ODI squad. When he gets going he is cool to watch and is definitely a crowd puller.

    It is a pity that his form has suffered in 2006. He has struggled, and when that incident happened a lot of things must have been on his mind.

    Although there is no reason to justify Afridi's action to thrust his bat at a spectator on his way to the dressing room, one must question why the spectators are allowed to be so close to the players in total disregard of security for both the players and the spectators. It is also unfair for players to be penalized for bringing the game of cricket in to disrepute, while no action is taken against a spectator or spectators who hurl abuse at the players or instigate them to react in a ungentleman like msnner. Penalties are often imposed on players for rude behavior on and off the field, while spectators are generally spared for their misconduct. It is critical to bring a balance in this respect and spectators should be told that rules of behavior apply to them too and they cannot get away making any slur on the players or peppering them with foul items such as eggs, banana skins, bottles and so on.

    Now that the decision has been taken to ban Afridi from four ODI's, the Pakistan selectors should not take him in to accouint for their World Cup squad. They have plenty of good players available for the team and keeping Afridi with the knowledge that he can't play in the first Two or Three World Cup matches would mean excluding another player who can make a difference in the over all performance of the team in the World Cup. The selectors have to be practical and send their best team to play the World Cup, out of the available and healthy players to keep Pakistan in contention for winning the Cup.

    As for Afridi, the penalty should teach him to keep his temper in check and stay focused on cricket and he should be an example for all his mates never to forget that cricket is still a game of Gentlemen.

  • Nasim Chaudhry on February 10, 2007, 18:48 GMT

    The Punishment is too harsh. It was unsatisfactory arrangement by the Cricket South Africa. The Max punishment should had been one match. The spectator goes without a punishment although he provoke mischief so does the Cricket South Africa. What a justice?. I consider it to be a bit racial since the charge was laid by the ICC president.

  • Harris Khan on February 10, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    Afridi has received due penalty for what he has done. There are just some lines you can't cross and he most certainly breached the code of conduct. We know how the south african crowds can be but these guys re highly paid elite sportsmen who are also role models for the kids and people should be aware that this so called "biff" is not part of the game. I'm sure many players would love to whack Andre Nel or one of the aussie players like Hayden or McGrath over the head for their on field remarks but you just can't do it.

    He will still be a force in thw world cup and unless something goes seriously wrong, Pakistan will need him in the super 8's (which I think is a stupid concept).

    PCB should not appeal the ban as it may risk him in the bigger games.

  • Abdullah Faiz on February 10, 2007, 18:42 GMT

    Damn right. Afridi did the wrong thing (although i dont blame him, Pakistani blood you see) and he deserves the punishment but should be an important part of Pakistan's WC campaign

  • Said Chaudhry on February 10, 2007, 18:40 GMT

    Well, yet another set back for Pakistan on this tour. First the long list of injuries, wicketkeeper problems, Inzys inability to walk let alone bat, and now Afridi getting slapped with a ban.

    However, is the ban justified? Is one spectators comments and confrontation with a player worth depriving Afridi fans around the world? I think not. ICC needs to realise Afridi is a super star irrespectable of his performances, fans still love watching him play, some watch cricket just to see him!

    Im also surprised that Chris Broad did not comment on the fact that there was a security personel standing right next to the spectator who passed comments to Afridi and he was much happier to take a step back rather than intervene and perhaps even remove the spectator from the ground. This goes to show the kind of freedom fans have at the stadium in RSA and how RSA Cricket Board cares less for such incidents. You always see RSA Cricketers crying about the treatment they receive in Australia from the fans there but its time they look inwards. I also include the fans who aggitated Gibbs (btw, is it just me who heard Gibbs scream 'f*&^ Pakistan' because everyone keeps claiming Gibbs never made any racist statments. It was clearly picked up on the stumps mic, clearly a racist remark yet he gets away with just 1 test and 1 ODI). Anyway, the point Im making is that Afridis ban is harsh and that its time ICC reviews its rules on scenerios involving fans and players.

    Is one loud-mouth fan's retribution worth depriving an entire nation & fans around the world from watching one of the most exciting cricketer? Certainly not.

  • damien martin on February 10, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    This is indeed really sad that afridi has 2 sit for 4 matches given the entertainer he can b but i think the ban is right. You need to learn to be patient. In this world we have people from different cultures and different mindsets.we need to learn to adapt to different conditions and need to absorb the pressure instead of getting animated and bogged down. Afridi represents a nation, also this is a leaning xperience of a lifetime for him. Afridi has been in the international scene for at least 10 years now and he shld learn to control his emotions

  • Khuram on February 10, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    I agree. PCB and afridi should not appeal this ban. He might get cleared (very slim chance), but if he doesn't that means he won't play WC. Afirdi has matured a lot since he started, but i guess more work needs to be done on him.

  • Anil on February 10, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    seems like there is different range of punishment for different part of world. Player from subcontinent will get twice or thrice as much of the punishment then any other place. Gibbs didn't got that of a harsh punishment, where as when afridi came in form and everyone eyeing to kick him out somehow. if there is any substitue of not playing 4 ODIs, PCB should consider it.

  • sohaib syed on February 10, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    hi every one

    it was very heartening to know that Afridi got banned but the good part of it is that he will be available for the world cup matches .....

    Just one question i had in mind that is IS warm Up matches going to telecast on TV around the world plz anyone know plz reply to me

  • hassan aziz on February 10, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    i truly beleive that afridi can fit into any one day lineup and is a genuine match winner on his day . its good that he has been only penalised for 4 odis which makes him available for the better part of the world cup and might help pakistan in winning the trophy . i wonder if the warm up matches for the worldcup are given international status and if not then he can prepare himself for the worldcup in those matches

  • Imran Sajwani on February 10, 2007, 18:28 GMT

    Afridi is needed to produce fireworks to mark the first match of the World Cup. It is obviously to Pakistan’s disadvantage for him to miss the warm-up matches. Sabina Park has lost some bounce and pace in recent years; Afridi is expected to dispatch the medium pacers all around the park. As for his batting position, although he does not prefer to open, he should if Pakistan bats first. He should also bat first chasing if the total is significantly higher than what is the average is at any given ground. Sabina Park is very chasable for score up to 275.

  • Amer Khan on February 10, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    I disagree, what afridi did was totally accepted. This ill-literated person was calling him names and kept pushing him. I watched the real offical video clip with voices. It was clear that spectator was a indian was was deliberately provoking something. Since all the nations are against pakistan, this was just another excuse for them to punish our rising stars. Remember, the rest of the cricket nations have a beef against Shoaib Aktar, Mohammed Asif and Shahid Afridi.

  • Farhan on February 10, 2007, 18:25 GMT

    All professional players need to control themselves, but here the host Board should also be reprimanded for allowing the incident to take place - proximity of hooligans to the players. The fat ass that did the chicken dance in front of Afridi should be banned from that ground for 4 games as well.

  • jawad mahmood on February 10, 2007, 18:20 GMT

    There was no reason for Mr tough guy (Malcom Speed) sitting in Dubai to take notice of Afridi's incident personally when match refree (Chris broad) had not taken any action. Malcom took action only because he could according to law or there was something else there. I smell something fishy here. What afridi did was wrong but it was only a knee jerk reaction but how about Gibbs delibrate racists remarks, Mark boucher and Andre Nels non stop abuse of pakistani players. Darrell Hair incident is not finished. Everyone in the world thought Darrel Hair was wrong but i could not find single aussie newspaper which condemned Darrell. He is an aussie and so is Malcom speed. It is payback time pakistan. ICC also rejected pakistan request for some more time to finalize worlcup squad because of injury problem. Watch for more to come in future.

  • Khalid on February 10, 2007, 18:17 GMT

    Only the other day malcolm speed was justifying why had not been taken(as documented on cricinfo) citing if no complaint is made within 18hrs no action can be taken and match ref. Was happy, then back peddles because of south african pressure. Spineless administrator! south africans complained when they were abused, should spare thougt for afridi. Its not like he swung the bat at him! Pointed it. Anyway shoaib,asif and gul will be the key players at the WC. Amongst the big middle 3! Insha allah!

  • ARKAN on February 10, 2007, 18:16 GMT

    Well there was an option available 2 ban him for the tests and not for the ODIs esp wen world cup is so near.But ICC!!! the next most dumbest sports body ever!! the first being PCB!!

  • Usman Mohammad on February 10, 2007, 18:16 GMT

    Abbasi bhai can you please confirm whether the warm up matches count as part of the ban?

  • Faraz (the first ever Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on February 10, 2007, 18:14 GMT

    Kamran: Afridi's bat shoveling at the coward spectator is not to be condoned here, however ICC's bigotry and aussie polictics should be bashed all over the place; and you have not spoken out against it!!! whereas Osman Samiuddin is as diabolical a writer as they get ( talks about Asif and Shoiab's ban being overturned in the light of "anything can happen in Pakistan" but uses Asif and Shoiabs silence as reason for their guilt...w/o realizing that the same "anything can happen in Pakistan" theory be applied to their apparent silence ...maybe Asif and Shoaib were told to shut up...It is logical to think of that under the context of that theory), it is expected from a pure truth writer to seek out ICC here and deliver a BOOM BOOM beating.

    ICC's speed is indeed an "offspring of a dubious origin". How can ICC media rep issue a statement advising against a ban on Afridi but later (more than the 18 hour stipulation) to have speed make an issue of it...plain & simple: they are scared of Afridi's capability......regardless, you, Mr. Abbassi need to give this adhocism of invoking dual standards against Pakistan, a solid Afridi like bashing...afterall the only voice PCB has is that half-retard Salim Altaf..who cant even get ICC to grant PCB more time to announce the WC squad but when it comes to Symonds then Australia can swap for him if not fit?!!? or they have our "zankha" president who is good for just that.

    SOMEONE LIKE YOU KAMRAN, needs to SPEAK UP....TAKE A STAND...I AM WAITING ON YOU, LIKE THE MANY OF US...who would like to see you bring this into the light...maybe it will give Pakistan encouragement to make sense of the situation and take ICC to task. My only grief is that the Indians would have already made ICC apologize....

  • calgary highlander on February 10, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    Afridi did such an excellent job in that second ODI that i completley forgive him. Besides in the WC our first 2 matches are against the WIndies and Ireland. I'm pretty sure we can slaughter them without Afridi. Hopefully evryone picks up their game. Shoaib and Gul return, Yousuf's form continues, and ABDUL RAZZAQ DOESN"T PLAY. He's terrible. He can be aggresive like Afrdi but unlike Afridi whos big performences come every 5 matches Razzaqs don't even come.

  • Asad Ali on February 10, 2007, 17:47 GMT

    I totally agree with you, Kamran. Afridi deserved to be puinshed and he also deserves to play for Pakistan. You're right about accepting the punishment too. Looking at the history of some of the Pakistan players (especially more recent ones), I'm not totally surprised at Afridi's action. Non-prefessionalism of pakistani cricketers is much discussed topic among crickt fans, experts and critics. But we don't see any improvement here ( Maybe only in terms of team consistancy). I have this feeling that such instances are increasing in the cricketing world, which should be a concern for the cricketing authorities all over the world. I don't think punishments and fines are going to solve this issue. Maybe the cricketing authorities and especially PCB need to take measures to educate the players to be not only better sportsmen, but also better embassadors of their country and sport.

  • Haroon Farooq on February 10, 2007, 17:46 GMT

    This had to happen after what he did but I have a few questions from ICC. He tried to hit a spectator with bat. He is on scene for over 10 years and never tried such thing. There must have been some sort of serious(may be of nature as was done to football great Zidane by Matarazzi) abuse which provoked him for doing so. Now, let's explore another aspect...no inquiry after match, not even in two rest days. Where was Chris Borad then who suddenly emerged at scene after mind blowing performance of Afridi in second One Day. Why didn't he take any action before and suddenly decided to take one after "Three Long Days"??????? Will Chris Broad or ICC try to justify this delay???? Or is i the same old story of baising against Asian players by Non-Asian Dominant ICC???? I am clueless, may be you people have one to share with me.

  • Bassit Nawaz on February 10, 2007, 17:45 GMT

    If Afridi got a punishment of this level, the punishment meeted out to gibbs looks pretty timid. fair enough with what he did was wrong in any sprt but to ban him for four matches is a bit too much considering the world cup is around the corner. he should have banned him for 2 matches or maybe 3. this maybe the world cup advantage slipping out f paks hands

  • Farhan Mughal on February 10, 2007, 17:43 GMT

    It is a very sad incident for all Pakistan cricket fans. Afridi brings energy and excitement in the game wheather he is bowling or batting and we'll miss all of his actions for the next few games. I believe he shouldn't have messed with the spectator especially with the bat which is outrageous. I hope he comes back and rocks the world of cricket with his bat.

  • Ahsan on February 10, 2007, 17:37 GMT

    Afridi did the wrong thing at the wrong time. The consequences and the punishment are perfect as they were similarly suffered by Gibbs. The only problem is that we are looking at it from the perspective of Pakistani fans, losing Afridi for 2 world cup matches and also the south africa series is very hard to grasp. Even though he is inconsistent his presence, his fielding, his bowling at crucial stages and how he can turn a game on its head with the bat. These are things every team dreams of, Australia will face a similar situation of Andrew Symonds isnt fit. I thought the ICC would have been sparing in the timing of the ban they could have left it till after the world cup. After all they want to make money and get viewers, afridi does just that he is more than a cricketer, hes an entertainer & to many millions of fans an idol!

  • Abid on February 10, 2007, 17:37 GMT

    Very unfortunate incident,and more unfortunate for the reason that no official at the match or opposing team objected to it, rather objection came from someone sitting far away and objecting only when Afridi performed in the second ODI.

    Afridi should be punished and should learn from this incident that how darely such actions could cost him, his team and nation, especially when they knew time and again that Pakistani team is always under the microscope of ICC officials including administration, officials and umpires, so they need to be the BEST POSSIBLE AMBASSADOR of the Nation, not just nation of Pakistan rather nation of ISLAM.

  • Abbas Reza on February 10, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    PCB and sense? When did that happen?

  • Tahsin Chowdhury on February 10, 2007, 17:32 GMT

    Have any one got a idea wat actually shahid afridi said to that spectator.and wat is the reason for that?NOone have a headache why arfidi did behave like that???There was surely a very bad comment threw by that spectator...

  • omar on February 10, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    i hope he wouldnt áppeal against it.I want to know if the warm up matches are included in the punish ???

  • Mansoor Huda on February 10, 2007, 17:23 GMT

    Well, after Wasim Akram the only player left who is in form who could change the course of a match in 5 overs or less, will not be part of the two crucial matches in South Africa.

    Afridi is to be blamed, but I think Malcolm Speed who initiated it all, has a gruge against Pakistan. In my personal opinion I have found him biased and I have noticed a hint of racism in his actions, especially after the SHOIB / ASIF saga before this series.

    Even though I have a lot of respect for Chris Board and I believe he is one of the most gentlemanly, unbiased, kind and considerate men in world cricket, I think he should have weighed the punishment against the circumstances, being it South Africa a nation banned from cricket for a long time for Racial Discrimination of sorts, the H. Gibbs incident, and World Cup being just around the corner.

    It is also sad that Gibbs was caught abusing Pakistani Supporters racially, and Afridi was caught trying to hit a South African supporter. I thought cricket lovers went to the cricket grounds to watch a good game of Cricket, but I guess they just go their to watch how much better their country is to the other and it makes them angry if that is not the case.

    I love Shahid Afridi's positive cricketing character, but I think he needs to learn something from this incident that he can take to the grave with him, and that is humiliation, tolerence and respect for others.

  • Abul Hasan on February 10, 2007, 17:19 GMT

    I fully concur with the comments of Mr. Khalid Arif. However our Board should not waste time on appeals. This way he will only miss two World Cup matches. The Board should also fine him part of his match fee so that he gets hit where it hurts most, his pocket. I am a fan of Afridi and have been very disappointed by his actions, hopefully he will learn, but the chances are small.

  • Virtuoso on February 10, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    Afridi , i would say, had got away with this with only a four match ban. THe match referee should have brandished him with full eight matches. Its the crowd who pays for their wages and at this level such careless attitude, from a person who is involved in international cricket for almost a decade, can not be ignored that easily. One wonders why hes got a chip on his shoulder. Hes successful once every 20 matches(yea thats right, 20 not 10) and gives almost 5 rpo. Any way, i really hope the warm up matches should not count in his punishment and he misses the first two games. And what about fines to accompany the 4 match ban? .. Any one thinking i am talking too much nonsense should rememeber the keanes, cantonas,thatchers and inzis (though i have forgotten what penalty he paid for his heroics in toronto) of this world.

  • Malik Saeed on February 10, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    Right on Kamran.Hope the so-called Management of the team in SA and the PCB let him serve his 4 match ban starting with sunday's one dayer and finishing with the Ireland game in the World Cup.Cricket SA have just seen what Afridi can do in all departments of the game. Let us allow the world to have a glimpse of Afridi's abilities. Malik Saeed Toronto Canada

  • salim mariner on February 10, 2007, 17:17 GMT

    4 matches is bit harsh on afridi,considering he was just coming into form.when will our criketers learn,but what about the spectator? he should also be punished,why should be the players get all the punishment.he should be fined and banned from attending criket matches.

  • Ali on February 10, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    yeah Kamran Bahi im agree with you, Afridi should control his temperment and nervous, Afridi isnt enought good batsmen, but hes the pressure what the team feels when he came to bat, One thing what Pakistan can try is after his banned for 4 matches, try openers, witch Shoaib Malik with Imran Nazir or Imran Nazir with Yasir Hameed,

  • Zahir Khan on February 10, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    I don't agree with anyone who are saying the giving a BAN to player is right if he/she so something like Gibs and Afridi has done. In my opinion their should be a room when taking such actions against them as only the players are punished not the spectator who first triggered the incident. Why?? are these players doing their jobs in a Jail or in a military base. Any sport in the world would be interesting to watch only if the players are enjoying it. I don't see that the players would be going to enjoy anymore....

  • Arman on February 10, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    afridi is a very attacking player. If he satys on for 5-ten overs he can change the game in many ways which means in a pressured or relieved way. When he does come to bat he tries hitting every single ball for six. If he plays just a bit carefully and sensibly he can be a really good batsmen.

  • sarfraz hussain.dubai on February 10, 2007, 17:09 GMT

    We all knows that afridi is a match winner but as a seniour player he should show patient and character.his unsensibl behaviour cost pakistan heavely in worldcup.

  • Ash Zed on February 10, 2007, 17:05 GMT

    No doubt Afridi did something silly and he deserves punishment. I am in no way defending Afridi.

    However, I failed to understand why match referee cleared him of all charges at the first place and what prompted Monster Speed to act all by himself. Furthermore, Afridi’s ban could have been 2 Test, 2 ODI, or 4 Test and a T20. Giving him 4 ODI bans is a part of the plan where ICC wants to weaken Pakistan for the World Cup.

    Beside Afridi, Speed has set his eyes on Shoaib and Asif while Imran Nazir narrowly escaped punishment. (Don’t be surprised if in few days Speed also acts on Imran). The conspiracy is clear; Speed hates PCB and Pakistan. He will do everything possible to create problems for Pakistan.

    I am of the firm opinion that Pakistan MUST pull out of the World Cup citing reasons that they don’t expect a fair and rational treatment from the head of ICC thereby they do not see any motivation to play in a tournament being organized by ICC. This is the only way to show the world all the unjust and biased attitude of Speed towards Pakistan.

  • Atif Irfan on February 10, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    Yet another Pakistani player facing a ban. some times I question myself, will I be able to see fully fit, ban/drugs free in form best 11 Pakistani players in the field ever in my life ?.......I cant see that to happen in next 10 years of time :(

  • qaisar sheikh on February 10, 2007, 16:57 GMT

    well every thing seems right but time of punishment. afridi did wrong he should have got punishment but one thing i am concerned about is that he did so in first match and all the procegure took place after third match thats a delay from ICC and it should have been taken in account, pakistan should object on it as the timing is crucial.

  • Morpheus on February 10, 2007, 16:55 GMT

    Appropriate penalty handed to boom boom, but what i would like to know is what happens to the spectators in such incidents? I've seen the incident in question and Afridi was more than just provoked, they chap in the crowd literally offered to have a punch up with Afridi. Cricket South Africa need to ban the dude in question from all cricket grounds in future.

  • Fazal on February 10, 2007, 16:51 GMT

    I ask that Australian Dictator sitting over the ICC why these all the rules not applied on Autralians how they behave in Aus. for how long the rest of the world only would have to face the rules only .

  • Q Zaman on February 10, 2007, 16:50 GMT

    Afridi was in the wrong .... but why allow spectators near the players... spectators are not going to abuse the home players... are they?? the only players the spectators are going to abuse are the tourists.... so the SA cricket Board has got the priorities right .... lets have the spectators right next to the players and hope they abuse the opposition players... as their own player do so in the field.... as Broad has pointed out to them..

  • Asad Ashraf on February 10, 2007, 16:42 GMT

    I agree...forget about appealing, as this will only delay any ODI ban, which would thus result in Afridi being unavailable for 4 World Cup matches, rather than 2.

    The first two games in the World Cup without Afridi will most likely benefit Pakistan in the long run. You ask how? Well with all the injuries Pakistan have i.e. Gul, Akhtar etc It will give Pakistan the oppurtunity to give some much needed match practice in the CORRECT conditions to some vital players. Everyone of the 15 man squad is likely to have a chance to play some part in the tournament, the sooner the better in some players eyes.

    I'm glad to see Pakistan are more controlled with regards to where Afridi bats, rather than having a fixed position, both himself, Razzaq and Malik rotate depending on the better of the team, which will only benefit the end outcome.

    With a strong powerful batting line up, and a seam attack of Umur Gul, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif supported by Razzaq, Afridi and Malik, Pakistan have a team capable of bringing the cup home, 14 years since Imran Khan and co did it originally. Insh'Allah this year is Pakistans.

  • Muhammad Zubair , Rawalpindi on February 10, 2007, 16:41 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is a multi-dimensional player. Good fielder, nice bowler and unpredictable batsman. His bowling was decisive in second ODI. Even in first ODI, his bowling was extra-ordinary considering South African onslaught. Its a loss for Pakistan with Afridi not playing. In my opinion, Afridi should bat is slog overs. Muhammad Zubair

  • Yasir Rafiq on February 10, 2007, 16:41 GMT

    I just wish that the two warm-up matches are official. But there is one thing i want to say, that is this notion is again and again striking me that this action was taken just because of afridi being an asian. What the hell has malcolm speed has to do with an individual on-field behaviour if the match referees and the teams have no concern for it at all. Believe me if it were some australian or england player no action would have been taken. Jack kallis, andre nell always sledge voilently and out of control and nothing happens to them. Everything needs to be fair.

  • zain ahmed memon on February 10, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    afridi is best he is diamond of pakistan team chris broad taken dision is bad.shahid khan afridi also played world cup 2007

  • Zafar on February 10, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    Once again ICC's Malcolm Speed has shown his bias towards Pakistan and Asian countries. Remember he tried to back Darryl Hair right to the last and failed. Afridi was just trying to bluff to the spectator involved, never trying to hurt him and thats why the incident was not reported by the umpires or the match referee.

    ICC should sack its Chief Executive for continuous crisis in umpiring standards and overall mismanagement and appoint somebody professionally involved with cricket as a test/odi player and later on as an official.

  • mo on February 10, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    Completely agree with you. We need Afridi for the world cup. He is a match winner, and provides confidence for our team.

    His bowling this series has been very useful.

    But why did it take the ICC so long to come to this decision?

    At first they were saying, no action would be taken, since no one complained about it.

  • Talal Hasan on February 10, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    I think there is a deeper issue here. The south african public are getting away with so much. There has been so much controversy surrounding the south african team and it stems from its racist aparteid days. The South africans need to reassess how close they allow their fans to the players. Two incidents have occured in this contentious series.

    When is the ICC finally going to ban the leader of provocation a certain MR NEL. He is setting a poor example to children every where with the way he talks to his opponents. The south Africans and the Australians are relentless when it comes to sledging and yet they get away with it.

    Don't you worry payback is a bitch and these teams will need to remember that when they come back to the UK.

  • abdullah on February 10, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    afiridi shouldnt appeal as it would spell bad as if he misses these two match and few first round matches of the world cup it wont make a difference

  • Adeel on February 10, 2007, 16:33 GMT

    Afridi incident came at a wrong time, but it shows his non-professionialism, he should have controlled his anger. His punishment is a lesson for other team-mates. I think AFRIDI & PCB should accept the punishment, and move on with the things.

  • Masaood Yunus on February 10, 2007, 16:33 GMT

    yes, The way forward is to forget about appealing the ban and get ready for World Cup. Afridi acted irresponsibly and the player is responsible for the consequences of his actions. His actions were against sportsmanship. I still think the ban is harsh but in current circumstances Pakistan doesnt have many option. For the rest of the SA series, i would like to see Abdul Rehman IN the squad. Lets see what the PAK think tank decides.

  • Azam Farooqui on February 10, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    I was surprised that neither of the umpires made an effort to report to the ICC match refree, Afridi's condcut was definitely uncalled for and had the bat hit the spectator (weather it was afridi's intention or not in not th point), it would have been a negative impact and things like this at times could even involve the diplomatic relations between two countries, an ambassador of a country acting like this against a local is not an issue that can be swept under the carpet. So the punishment was fair and square and PCB would do well to accept it and move on. Ass far as is inclusion is concerned, afridi has to be a part of pakistan's world cup squad, not just his batting, but in my opinion it's his bowling can prove to be match winning in most games. He developed enough variations to remain a threat to the opposition. It will be a huge mistake if Pakistan chooses to leave afridi behind.

  • Mustafa Moiz on February 10, 2007, 16:26 GMT

    I think four matches is too short. I saw what happened and he didn't do anything wrong but I don't think he should play. He should have been dropped before. But the ban was harsh.

  • shahab shahid randhawa on February 10, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    The real world cup will start after the group matches in the super eight.And Pakistan's first match against WestIndies is not a cruical match.Pakistan can afford to lose that match as Pakistan will easily go to later stages by beating Ireland and Zimbabwe.So absence of Afridi will not hurt Pakistan much in the world cup.I hope that Afridi will learn from his mistake and not do anything like that in the future.

  • Aatif Afzal, Islamabad on February 10, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    I just couldn't understand why Pak players do not behave like they should - both on and off the field. Afridi is yet another example of utterly irresponsible attitude from Pak players. Primarily, it’s because of lack of basic education amongst Pakistani players, especially after the Imran Khan's era. Almost all of Pak players in post-Imran era come from humble background with little or no education. They lack mannerism and common sense, which is not so common in this part of the world.

    Showing the bat to a spectator in a threatening manner is completely inexcusable - no matter what the spectator has said to you. Spectators should also behave gently but then they are not superstars and nobody in the world cares about their actions and deeds. It’s the players, especially superstars like Afridi whose action are followed religiously by millions of fans. And these kind of ill-mannered actions also deliver negative impact on the brains of those millions of kids who love Afridi. They’ll follow the suit. So Mr. Afridi behave yourself for the good of Pak cricket and Pakistan’s image abroad. And the other Pak cricketers, especially Shoaib Akhtar too.

    And no one should try to say that this punishment was handed over to Afridi due to any kind of bias from the ICC ranks towards Asian nations. If so then what’d you say about Gibbs episode? We should correct our wrongdoings in spite of blaming others for our own failures.

    Along with trying to improve their technique and temperament, PCB should also hire a tutor for Pak players who should be responsible for teaching them the basics of mannerism. Just look at the way Inzi speaks English! Rubbish. Speaking fluent English is not mandatory for an international cricketer but after gaining international exposure of more than a decade and half, one should speak it bit correctly. OK you can't do that then you shouldn't speak it altogether and you better comment in Urdu and left the translation job with organizers.

    Mr. Kamran Abbasi, I don’t think that two warm-up matches prior to the Pakistan’s clash with Windies in the inaugural match of the world cup carry the status of official ODIs. If they are then please confirm it somewhere here. In my opinion, Afridi’ll be available to Pakistan in their last first stage match against Zimbabwe on 21st of March. It means more headaches for the selectors who are already busy in counting the players with injuries and fitness problems. Afridi should’ve given his infamous action a second thought. But thought process takes place in brain.....

  • kamran on February 10, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    Why are we playing Rana again -- look at his dissmal record - Have that done by Sami -- we would have made him sit out for 5 games and ask him to perform - What kinda bias team judgement is it? I'm so sick of it -- first Mr Anjum preferred over Sami and now Rana Naved - WTF

  • OWAis on February 10, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    Hmmm ..I thnK the Punishment was right ..wAt he did ...It was STupId ... But WE Still need him for the WOrld cUp....AS Mr kAmrAn said dat If the warm up matches will count dan he will b available ....SO If it dOesn't COunt dAn he Will b available To pak for second round matches....I hoPe dat INSHALLAH he will b at his best and he will do his best AFRIDI ROCKS!!!!!

  • Asif Syed on February 10, 2007, 16:17 GMT

    Pakistani, Indian and sir Lankan were always verbally abused coming out and going back into the dressing rooms this incident is not new but the difference now is that most of the guys understand English, and then likes of Afridi and others like him will not just pass through and ignore them. These things will happen again and again, it is a responsibility of the respective boards to make sure the players safety. Problem lays with our boards if we have put our spectators yards away in our grounds then why not ask them the same thing before you send out your teams to play in these countries. I guess any one can buy a ticket to the stadium and do the same, why get him out in one match why not 4 or 8 it will be repeated may be next time there will be a different player.

  • waj on February 10, 2007, 16:12 GMT

    Afridi is a good player but missing the first couple of world cup matches doesn't affect Pak team as much . this is because they are playing against West Indies and Ireland and Pakistan should win those matches with or without Afridi. as long as Afridi is back before the end of the group stage matches the situation should be OK.

  • Shahid on February 10, 2007, 16:04 GMT

    Agree with your opinion. Interject Hafeez here in the line up with Imram Nazir and move Akmal down below ahead of Razzak. Saving Boom Boom for the world cup is more important.

  • Jinn on February 10, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    what happens to the spectator? im sorry but if someones swearing in your face or being abusive, then a man should have the right to do what his natural instincts demand... i wouldve done the same thing as afridi (my aim is slightly better!!). we are an agressive playing nation and if spectators want to get thier two pennies worth in, especially in australia and south africa, they should be made aware that we wear the green pajamas and not the baby blue ones. Since the whole situation was ignited by the spectator, he should be fined.

  • waseem baig on February 10, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    I did not get top watch the incident but as with Gibbs, no matter how provoked you are, there are certain rules set for making a complaint and Afridi should have followed those. He is a senior cricketer and should now have enough composure about him to restrain his anger. The current Pak team under Inzamam is quite overtly religious including Afridi and controlling your anger is a virtue taught by Islam .Not follwing the religious teachings has brought him to this level. All cheers for Broad for his sensible decision especially in light of this article.

  • sajid on February 10, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    Yes its sad to hear that Afridi will miss four ODIs. I will agree that what he did was not a professional act and he should have ignore that. But i would say, that if the Officials gave him a little more funishment. The reasonable punishment would be two ODIs ban to realize him the mistake. It is true that Afridi is a very entertaining cricketer and should have been given the chance to paly in the World Cup from the very begining. The given punishment will disappoint a lot of his fans and country fellows. Secondly, in the begining they said that he has been ingnored for his act, but when he performed good in the second match then they took the action which is a little un professional. I would finish with the following urdu sher. Hum Ahh bhi karthee hain thu ho jaathee hain badnaam............ Woo qath bhi karthee hain thu charcha nahi hotha......

  • Dr Haroon on February 10, 2007, 15:50 GMT

    There's no doubt that Afridi deserves the ban for his immature behaviour, but the timing of the whole issue is unfortunate. Just when we all thought that Afridi was clicking again, we will be deprived of his services, no matter how long or should I say short they may be !

  • afzal on February 10, 2007, 15:46 GMT

    I think Afridi's ban is not that bad and sitting out the remainder of this ODI series and the couple of warm up matches which should have ODi status(if not why are the Associates playing so much ODIs ?)will have him available for the crunch match of the group against WI..and save him from injury ....they all seem injury prone !!...He's been playing too long to know that bandishing his bat a la Inzi is wrong forgetting what is the provocation.....

  • shahid shah on February 10, 2007, 15:44 GMT

    whatever afridi did was unacceptable but still i believe that the punishment is too harsh. The game was not put into disrepute. The incident happened outside the boundary line so there was no way it effected the game of cricket. The charges gainst afridi are totally wrong. He should be charged for misbehaviour against the spectator. The punishment should be the fine not the ban. Afridi offence was entirely different to Inzimam's. Inzi's incident happened on the field and it was the game that was disrupted. In Afridi's case the game went on so that is why it is harsh. I compared Afridi incident with Inzi as both got the same charges and same kind of ban.

  • Salman Qayyum on February 10, 2007, 15:35 GMT

    guys !... Relax.. i tell u what its really good that afridi got punishment..it will increase pakistan chances in world cup.. because i am sure that for next 4-6 matched he will not perform.:)..looking at his average so cheer up

  • chudhary on February 10, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    I hope this would fire him up. He has to be their for the worldcup.

  • Jawad on February 10, 2007, 15:33 GMT

    I think the ban is unfair. When Gibs was banned, he was banned from Test matches and one day matches. The ban should've been 2 one day matches and one Test match the same way Gibs got banned. The touch of racism continues towards the South Asian countries.

  • Danish Khan on February 10, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    You know, I just realised that wishing Pakistan won't contemplate on appealing, may just turn out to be wishful thinking. They might want to have Richie Benaurd hooked up to the video conference, just like Gibbs! Umm, but I seriously hope not, PCB should ADD him to the squad! And just let this be!

  • Imran on February 10, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Does anyone know FOR SURE if the warm-up matches count as official games. If they are official, then surely they count as part of the ban. Kamran, you are normally very precise and clear, but you seem to state something in this article ('which luckily begins with two official World Cup warm-up matches') and then cast it in doubt ('if the warm-up matches count'). What's going on?

    Does anyone know?

  • saqib Ali on February 10, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    In my opinion Afridi should appeal against the ban and continue to play rest of the 2 odis against South Africa. I believe the current series is more important that first round of world cup where ever body knows which 8 teams are going to the super 8, after all pakistan can beat two minows in their pool without afridi and go to the next round. Pakistan has a golden chance in the current series to beat africa in africa and they shouldnt loose afridi who recently has rediscovered his lost form and he better continue playing the current series as an inform player.

  • Danish Khan on February 10, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    A very, very hard pill to swallow this, Kamran Bhai, wait...gulp! Am really dissappointed but this was inevitable. Afridi's actions were easily justifiably wrong. Zama Pukhtoon ror dae kana! Anyhow, very upsetting for me personally, but it would be great if the two warm-up games are official, lets hope for that!! But I agree with your notion that it is time now just to forget about it, they really shouldn't be contemplating an appeal, that would make matters only worse! But honestly, Mr. Speed -I really don't know what to say about him. What's next after this and Samuels issue? Oh! must be thinking of the way to ban Murli...HmMmMmmmmmmmMm...

  • TANK on February 10, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    I have said it before and I will say it again. Punish the stupid spectators, not the players. They are only human and will react when they are pushed. It is so typical that the ICC and CSA only try and treat the symptons and not the cause. What's next? Playing behind fences like they play football in Argentina? I remember when you could go and play on the field during the lunch or dinner break, and it was not that long ago.

    STOP SELLING ALCOHOL at the matches and you will see the behavious improve. But money is more important.

    The ICC better wake up real quick or else cricket will die a slow, and painful death.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on February 10, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    I think you are absolutely right. The punishment handed over to Afridi is fully justified. I also agree that he can play an important part in the World Cup campaign as the wickets in the Caribbean will suit his batting as well as bowling, and on his day, he can change the course of the game in the matter of few overs. As Pakistan is expected to make it to the second round, Afridi should be included in the team depsite of missing the early two games. As for PCB, I agree with earlier comment that an action should be taken by the PCB, may be in the form of monetary fine for such irresposible behavior.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 10, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    Afridi incident is a sad thing that happened, I am not trying to say that the punishment is wrong. he should be punished but banning for four ODI's looks a bit harsh perticularly at a time when the world cup is just next month. Afridi should also have known this, his action was not justified and may well cost Pakistan heavily, I wonder when would our cricketers learn to behave sensibly. When you are there representing your country, you must behave properly and as a true ambassadors of your country. The incident really is an unfortunate one, Shahid needs to be reprimanded for this, not only by ICC but we at the PCB should also take some action. I like him as a player and believe that he should always be in our ODI out fits for he is a cricketer of immense value to pakistan, be it bowling, fielding and/or batting. I hope and pray that the ban is reduced some how or the other and may he play in the World Cup as we do need him to be with the team in the Carrabians.

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  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 10, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    Afridi incident is a sad thing that happened, I am not trying to say that the punishment is wrong. he should be punished but banning for four ODI's looks a bit harsh perticularly at a time when the world cup is just next month. Afridi should also have known this, his action was not justified and may well cost Pakistan heavily, I wonder when would our cricketers learn to behave sensibly. When you are there representing your country, you must behave properly and as a true ambassadors of your country. The incident really is an unfortunate one, Shahid needs to be reprimanded for this, not only by ICC but we at the PCB should also take some action. I like him as a player and believe that he should always be in our ODI out fits for he is a cricketer of immense value to pakistan, be it bowling, fielding and/or batting. I hope and pray that the ban is reduced some how or the other and may he play in the World Cup as we do need him to be with the team in the Carrabians.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on February 10, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    I think you are absolutely right. The punishment handed over to Afridi is fully justified. I also agree that he can play an important part in the World Cup campaign as the wickets in the Caribbean will suit his batting as well as bowling, and on his day, he can change the course of the game in the matter of few overs. As Pakistan is expected to make it to the second round, Afridi should be included in the team depsite of missing the early two games. As for PCB, I agree with earlier comment that an action should be taken by the PCB, may be in the form of monetary fine for such irresposible behavior.

  • TANK on February 10, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    I have said it before and I will say it again. Punish the stupid spectators, not the players. They are only human and will react when they are pushed. It is so typical that the ICC and CSA only try and treat the symptons and not the cause. What's next? Playing behind fences like they play football in Argentina? I remember when you could go and play on the field during the lunch or dinner break, and it was not that long ago.

    STOP SELLING ALCOHOL at the matches and you will see the behavious improve. But money is more important.

    The ICC better wake up real quick or else cricket will die a slow, and painful death.

  • Danish Khan on February 10, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    A very, very hard pill to swallow this, Kamran Bhai, wait...gulp! Am really dissappointed but this was inevitable. Afridi's actions were easily justifiably wrong. Zama Pukhtoon ror dae kana! Anyhow, very upsetting for me personally, but it would be great if the two warm-up games are official, lets hope for that!! But I agree with your notion that it is time now just to forget about it, they really shouldn't be contemplating an appeal, that would make matters only worse! But honestly, Mr. Speed -I really don't know what to say about him. What's next after this and Samuels issue? Oh! must be thinking of the way to ban Murli...HmMmMmmmmmmmMm...

  • saqib Ali on February 10, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    In my opinion Afridi should appeal against the ban and continue to play rest of the 2 odis against South Africa. I believe the current series is more important that first round of world cup where ever body knows which 8 teams are going to the super 8, after all pakistan can beat two minows in their pool without afridi and go to the next round. Pakistan has a golden chance in the current series to beat africa in africa and they shouldnt loose afridi who recently has rediscovered his lost form and he better continue playing the current series as an inform player.

  • Imran on February 10, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Does anyone know FOR SURE if the warm-up matches count as official games. If they are official, then surely they count as part of the ban. Kamran, you are normally very precise and clear, but you seem to state something in this article ('which luckily begins with two official World Cup warm-up matches') and then cast it in doubt ('if the warm-up matches count'). What's going on?

    Does anyone know?

  • Danish Khan on February 10, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    You know, I just realised that wishing Pakistan won't contemplate on appealing, may just turn out to be wishful thinking. They might want to have Richie Benaurd hooked up to the video conference, just like Gibbs! Umm, but I seriously hope not, PCB should ADD him to the squad! And just let this be!

  • Jawad on February 10, 2007, 15:33 GMT

    I think the ban is unfair. When Gibs was banned, he was banned from Test matches and one day matches. The ban should've been 2 one day matches and one Test match the same way Gibs got banned. The touch of racism continues towards the South Asian countries.

  • chudhary on February 10, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    I hope this would fire him up. He has to be their for the worldcup.

  • Salman Qayyum on February 10, 2007, 15:35 GMT

    guys !... Relax.. i tell u what its really good that afridi got punishment..it will increase pakistan chances in world cup.. because i am sure that for next 4-6 matched he will not perform.:)..looking at his average so cheer up