Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi reveals why he tampered with the pitch?

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New Delhi: Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi made a name for himself with his cricketing skills and his antics on the field. Afridi scored a century in 37 balls which was a record for 18 years.

However, the all-rounder’s career was not just about hitting big sixes, scoring quick hundreds or confusing the batsmen with his leg spin. Afridi also made headlines for breaking the law by tampering with the ball and the pitch on two separate occasions.

What makes these incidents even more surprising is that they happened at a time when players were always on camera with dozens of cameras at the venue and despite being aware of this, Afridi went ahead with his antics.

Umpire bans Shahid Afridi after pitch tampering

Afridi’s pitch tampering resulted in the referee banning him for one Test and two ODIs. During an interview, Afridi spoke on the 17-year-old incident, recalling how a cylinder blast at the venue gave him an opportunity to patch up a pitch that was offering nothing to the bowlers.

He said he discussed his intentions with teammate Shoaib Malik, who encouraged him, citing the fact that others were focused on the blast.

“That Test was in Faisalabad. The ball was not turning, there was no seam or swing. It got boring. You are bowling with all your might but it is not turning or skidding. So, there was a gas cylinder which exploded which caught everyone’s attention. Shoaib Malik and I were talking. I said ‘Malik, I want to make a patch for myself so that at least the ball gets twisted’. He replied, ‘Boss, go ahead. No one is watching.’ That’s why I did it,” Afridi recalled.

Years later, Afridi would give a famous picture to the world where he was seen biting a cricket ball during a T20I against England, which resulted in a two-match ban. He was found guilty of “changing the position of the ball in contravention of Law 42.3 of the Laws of Cricket”.

Afridi recalled how his teammate Naved-ul-Hasan complained about the ball not doing anything and hence he cut the ball on a few occasions to change the position of the ball.

“Come on Rana, we have to win this match. He complained about the ball not swinging. I said let me try and so…” he said.



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