Pakistan news May 21, 2010

Resolve damaging allegations, urges Afridi

Cricinfo staff

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's Twenty20 captain, has urged the authorities to resolve the allegations surrounding the team as soon as possible because the uncertainty was "damaging for the players and the team" as they prepare for future assignments, especially the 2011 World Cup.

"The thing is that there is too much uncertainty because of all those allegations," Afridi told the News. "It's really damaging for the players and the team and I'm really concerned because it comes at a time when we are looking forward to a very busy calendar filled with major assignments, including the all-important World Cup.

"I think that for our team to move on, we need to quickly resolve all such controversies. You can't expect the players to give their best when there are so many allegations thrown at them."

The ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) said on Thursday that it was investigating Pakistan's tour of Australia in 2009-10 to establish whether Pakistan's on-field failure was the result of what it called a "dysfunctional" team or "something more serious".

The PCB has been conducting its own investigations into the Australia tour and a leaked video recording of the committee's hearings revealed the level of in-fighting and disunity within the Pakistan side. Senior members of Pakistan's team management on the tour raised concerns about a run-out wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal fluffed during the second Test in Sydney, hinting that it may have been more than just a cricketing error.

When Afridi was asked at the inquiry if the losses to Australia were deliberate, he said: "I have heard from others that such things [deliberately losing] exist but I do not know of any such player myself."

Pakistan's next assignment is the Asia Cup in June and Afridi said it "would be great if the team goes to Sri Lanka with this issue resolved so that everybody can focus on playing cricket." Pakistan have not yet announced an ODI captain but it is widely expected that the responsibility will be given to Afridi.