Ex-Pakistan Captain Shahid Afridi Admits To Tampering Pitch In 2005, Says “It Was A Mistake”

Archive photo of Shahid Afridi.© AFP

Former Pakistani cricket team Shahid Afridi has accepted that he tampered with Faisalabad’s pitch during a test match against England in 2005. Afridi, who was known for his big shots and his spin bowling, said he was frustrated about going to the action. He also added that ex-Pakistani skipper Shoaib Malik knew him and encouraged him in the plan.

“The test match was in Faisalabad. The ball didn’t turn, swing, didn’t seam. I put on my full power and nothing happened. 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 so badly want to make a patch on this field. I want the ball to spin!),” said Afridi on a Samaa TV show.

Malik replied, ‘Kar de. Koi nai dekh raha’ (Do it, no one is watching). So I did. And what happened next is history. That incident and the ball biting – looking back on that one, I realize that it was a mistake.”

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The test match Afridi referred to was the second game of a series of three matches 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 with an innings and 100 runs to end the series 2-0.

Afridi once held the record for the fastest barrel in ODI cricket. He is known as a colorful character on the cricket pitch.

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