Afridi's ball-tampering February 2, 2010

'Shahid's desire to win was there for all to see'

Cricinfo staff
Shahid Afridi was banned for two Twenty20s after being caught on camera biting the ball during the final ODI in Perth. Disbelief and jokes followed

"No I just was trying to smell it, [to see] how it was feeling."
Shahid Afridi tells of his lovin' feelin' for the ball soon after the end of the match

"There is no team in the world that doesn't tamper with the ball. My methods were wrong. I am embarrassed, I shouldn't have done it. I just wanted to win us a game but this was the wrong way to do it."
Afridi regrets his actions after being banned

"I'm just watching like you. If he did that it is not a good image for Pakistan. He can tell you better."
Mohammad Yousuf, the Pakistan captain who missed the game, was just a silent spectator

"Shahid's desire to win today was there for all to see."
Afridi's manager Umran Khan admires his client's never-say-die spirit

"He would have had all sorts of things going through his mind for the last couple of overs and as captain you have enough going through your head without worrying about things like that."
Australian captain Ricky Ponting can bring himself to sympathise

"There must have been a bet, or perhaps he was drunk."
The Times' Patrick Kidd gives some plausible explanations

"Perhaps he didn't appreciate the lunch he was given in Australia."
Graeme Smith, South Africa captain, kicks off the series of endless jokes that the incident will prompt

"Whatever justification or excuse … cannot justify the act because in the laws of cricket it is illegal … He's so talented and you can see the [good] body language when the team is playing under him. All this is going his way. It is so foolish."
Former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal clearly does not support Afridi's actions

"It's no secret that everyone wants to change the condition of the ball but that's through shining the ball and things like that."
Australia bowler Dirk Nannes rejects Afridi's claims that all teams tamper with the ball

"I don't think there was any malice in what he did, but given his track record he probably got off lightly. I think five-six matches should have been the minimum."
Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh thinks the penalty should have been heavier