Australia 2009-10 January 31, 2010

Afridi bites back

Shahid Afridi left his mark on Pakistan's final 50 overs match in Australia - and on the cricket ball

Shahid Afridi can expect a lengthy ban, which is ill-timed as he was about to offer a solution to Pakistan's captaincy problems © Getty Images

Shahid Afridi left his mark on Pakistan's final 50 overs match in Australia - and on the cricket ball. First, he demonstrated how he could galvanise this Pakistan team into a fighting unit again. For the first time in weeks, Pakistan's players relished the fight and played with some belief. Afridi was at the heart of this, and his colleagues looked to be behind him.

But then we saw the daft side of Afridi, his ill-disguised bite of the cricket ball, a white and rather scruffy cherry. Pakistan were in with a shout, Afridi leading impressively, but he never looked the same after his appetite got the better of him and he was reprimand by the umpires. Afridi can expect a lengthy ban, which is ill-timed as he was about to offer a solution to Pakistan's captaincy problems.

He isn't the first international captain, of course, to tamper with the ball. Mike Atherton, for example, was relatively unscathed after his 'dirt in the pocket' incident. And you would judge Atherton to be more cerebral than Afridi by many tens of kilometers per hour.

Afridi's biting action was a disgrace but his captaincy style better suited Pakistan. He should take the ban, and learn a final sobering lesson. Desire to win should not be confused with winning at all costs. Once the dust has settled, Afridi should take up the captaincy. The question is what to do in the interim? Mohammad Yousuf is not the answer. The best solution would be a brief return for Younis Khan.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on December 11, 2012, 6:11 GMT


  • testli5504537 on February 3, 2010, 2:12 GMT

    Wonder why only 2 match Ban for Afridi for this irresponsible act (As a Captain)

  • testli5504537 on February 2, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    Dont blame players. It is selectors who are to be blamed for selecting players (Younus) who has below performance in ODI since Jan 2009 in One day internationals.

    Matches: 24 Runs: 487 Batting Avg: 20 Batting Strike Rate: 60 Half centuries: 2

    Pakistan cricket board is to be blamed for all this mess. Shoaib Malik should not have been removed from captaincy in the first place. Whoever did not wanted to play under him (Yousuf, Younus, Misbah, Afridi) should have been kicked out of the team then. If PCB had taken the right decision then we would have been in a better position today.

  • testli5504537 on February 2, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    No, Sorry its high time he has been given immence opportunity now give it to one who is younger than even afridi.

  • testli5504537 on February 2, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    Afridiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii......we still love u /)

  • testli5504537 on February 2, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    What is it with this massive inferiority complex that Pakistanis seem to have?No sportsman, however big or from whatever country deserves to continue playing the sport if they deliberately cheat. Saying other people do it as well as an attempt at justification is something you'd expect a child to say, not someone wearing a country's colours.

  • testli5504537 on February 2, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    Well,it was indeed very disgraceful for Pakistan, adding insult to injury(5-0 defeate). The question is,if not Afridi who is going to be the Captain?At least I dont see any one else capable of leading Pakistan. Afridi has got punishment which he deserved. Let's move on and let him learn from his mistakes. I am sure that no one else in sincere enough in Pakistani team than Afridi. And for Meety,we all know that there are 20 + cameras on the field. why dont we have a single picture of ball tampering in that match. It was just a stunt created by Darrell Hair, nothing else.

  • testli5504537 on February 2, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    Afridi shouldn't have done this.He is a very popular player all over the world.His this kind of behavior was very frustrating.Maybe he lost his popularity a bit for this.however, he should learn from mistakes and never do silly things in the field.

  • testli5504537 on February 2, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    Posted by: Munir Ahmed at January 31, 2010 1:52 PM...... In reference to the above post, I would like to tell the Indian Basher that the concerned umpire was from Sri Lanka, not from India. So mate, before letting rip anti India tirade, please get your basics right. Get well soon.

  • testli5504537 on February 2, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Afridis act hammers the final nail in the coffin of Pakistan crickets glory days. Its all down hill from here. Don't expect much from these ungrateful so called veterens who do not value the country they play for

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