File photo of Shahid Afridi.© AFP
Former Pakistan cricket team Shahid Afridi has accepted that he tampered with the Faisalabad pitch during a Test match against England in 2005. Afridi, who was well known for his big-hitting as well as spin bowling, said that he was frustrated with the pitch which led to the action. He also added that ex-Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik knew and encouraged him in the plan.
“The Test match was in Faisalabad. The ball was not turning, swinging, seaming. I was applying my full force and nothing was happening. Then suddenly, a gas cylinder exploded and everyone got distracted. I told Malik (Shoaib Malik).’ Mera dil chaah raha hai main idhar patch bana du. Ball toh turn ho!(I want to create a patch on this pitch so badly. I want the ball to turn!),” Afridi said on a Samaa TV show.
“Malik replied, ‘Kar de. Koi nai dekh raha’ (Do it, no one is watching). So I did that. And then, what happened is history. That incident and the ball-biting one – when I look back at those, I realize it was a mistake.”
The Test match Afridi referred to was the second game of a three-match series between Pakistan and England in 2005. Pakistan won the opening Test match in Multan by 22 runs while the second match in Faisalabad ended in a draw. The hosts won the third Test in Lahore by an innings and 100 runs to clinch the series 2-0.
Afridi once held the record of the fastest ton in ODI cricket. He is known as a colorful character on the cricket field.
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