Pakistan senators back ‘strict’ Afridi action

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani senators on Monday demanded “strict action” against all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who was caught tampering with the ball in a one-day match in Australia.

By (AFP)

Published: Mon 15 Feb 2010, 10:05 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:31 AM

The Senate standing committee on sports made the call after discussing Pakistan’s woeful performance on a tour of Australia and the Afridi case.

“We should not select Afridi for some time and tell the world that we are not cheats and we know how to deal with indisciplined players,” said Senator Tariq Azeem, calling for a five-year ban on the all-rounder.

But the committee stopped short of calling for such a hefty punishment, instead demanding that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ban him for at least three series.

The all-rounder was caught on television biting the ball twice during the fifth and final one-day match against Australia in Perth late last month.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Ranjan Madugalle handed him a ban of two Twenty20 matches. Afridi later apologised.

“I shouldn’t have done it. It just happened. I was trying to help my bowlers and win a match, one match,” said Afridi.

Azeem said the PCB should also penalize the all-rounder.

“In view of Afridi’s offence with the whole world watching, we need to come down hard on him,” Azeem told AFP.

A PCB committee is investigating Pakistan’s crushing defeats in Australia — 3-0 in Tests, 5-0 in one-day series and a Twenty20 match.

“We cannot take premature action against Afridi,” PCB chairman Ijaz Butt told the committee. “Once the report of the evaluation committee comes, then only we can take any action on the matter.”

“Under ICC rules you can’t punish a player twice for one offence,” said Butt, adding that an ICC lawyer had suggested Afridi could challenge any further punishment in court.

Afridi was also banned for a Test and two one-day games for damaging the pitch in a Test against England at Faisalabad in 2005.

Two years later, he was handed a four-match one-day ban for trying to hit a spectator during a match in South Africa.

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