Sunday 31 January 2010

Hungry Shahid? Afridi takes ball tampering to a new level.

Pakistan stand-in skipper Shahid Afridi has been banned for two Twenty20 Internationals after being found guilty of chewing on the cricket ball during last night's One Day International in Perth against Australia.

After his suspension was announced, Afridi apologised for the incident.

"I am ashamed. I did it in the heat of the moment as the match was a close one, but I should not have done that, it's a serious offence,'' Afridi said.

"I apologise to all and everyone involved in the match and to the fans around the world. This will never happen again.''

While Afridi's punishment is apparently 'the maximum' for the offence, the question becomes not so much whether Afridi will do it again but - has he done it before?

Either way before the next match Afridi plays for Pakistan, team management should take him to an all you can eat buffet to make sure he doesn't get the munchies late in the game.

How reacted just moments after the incident:

The game isn't even over yet but stand-in Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has sensationally chewed on a cricket ball during the One Day International between Australia and Pakistan at the WACA (January 31, 2009).

This article is as live as it gets. There were just six overs to go in the Australian innings (chasing 213 to win), when Afridi took a bite out of the ball - with the intent (allegedly) to get it to reverse swing quicker in the final overs.

When a photo is available I'll upload it but take it as read - Afridi has a case to answer.

You cannot pretend (allegedly) to breathe on the ball for five seconds when it is CLEAR (allegedly) you're chowing down on the leather... the 3rd umpire saw it on the telecast, alerted the umpires and the ball was immediately changed.

Afridi is in all sorts judging by the vision and the fact the umpires removed the ball from the field of play quickly - so the teeth marks should still be there to analyse.

In a word... gobsmackable.

And to add something to the mix... an over later some idiotic drunk ran onto the field and tried to crash tackle Pakistani opening batsman Khalid Latif. He'll spend the night in jail and never see the green grass of an international cricket field again... the perpetrator that is, not Latif.

Crazy night at the WACA and Australia still need 28 runs from 23 balls to win the game and take out the series 5-0... but that won't be the big news out of this game I assure you.

Post-Script... Australia's Ryan Harris 'won' the game with 3 balls left. He hit the ball straight to mid-off and was easily caught with 1 run to win... but it was a full toss above his waist and ruled a no-ball. Which is 1 run and an Australian victory... WOW what a final hour!