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'Players were ogling at girls' - SHAHID AFRIDI CRITICISES FORMER COACH ALAM IN LEAKED VIDEO

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 21.05.10
  •  

Karachi: Pakistan Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi has alleged that some of his teammates were busy ogling at girls and loafing around the boundary line, not giving their 100 per cent in the team’s disastrous tour of Australia earlier this year.

The leaked video footage of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s investigations showed Afridi questioning the commitment of some of his teammates, even though he said all the talks about match-fixing is something he too has heard but never found any evidence of.

“Some of the players, once they have made some decent runs with the bat, would think their job is done and would go to field in the deep,” Afridi was shown as speaking.

“There they would be busy chatting with the crowd, ogling at girls and giving autographs. I have identified some players doing that. They just play for themselves,” said Afridi, who was part of the team that lost five ODIs in Australia.

He was also critical of the then coach Intikhab Alam. “Coach told me to lead the team in the fifth ODI just 40 minutes before the match and put unnecessary pressure to win the toss.

“He said it would be all gloom and doom if we lose the toss. I interrupted him and asked why he was demoralising players even before the toss? Why it would be all gloom and doom even if we just lose the toss?” Afridi asked.

On whether some of his teammates were involved in match-fixing, Afridi said: “I can say that more than being beaten, we gave away those matches.

“About match-fixing, I too have heard but have no evidence,” said the all-rounder.

The Parliamentary Standing Committees on Sports have suggested disbandment of the PCB and appointment of an ad-hoc committee to run game in the country after the leaked video exposed the strife and politics within the team.

Iqbal Mohammed Khan, who heads the National Assembly Committee, said PCB has made a mess of cricket affairs in the country.

“I think Ijaz Butt should step down honourably and the government should appoint an ad-hoc committee to put cricket matters back on track,” he said.

Ghaffar Qureshi, who heads the Senate Committee, said he would call for the holding of a joint parliamentary session of both the committees to probe into cricket matters and discuss the leaked video recordings.

“We will have a joint session soon in which all Board officials, players and former and present team officials will be summoned,” Qureshi said.

The Senator said he also supported the appointment of an ad-hoc committee by the PCB chief patron — President Asif Zardari.

“It is obvious from the video recordings just what shape Pakistan cricket is in and I think it is time other people were given a chance to run cricket affairs. This Board has failed to control things,” he said.

Adding to the incident, outgoing ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) chief Paul Condon said on Thursday that a probe is on to find out if match-fixing played any part in Pakistan’s tour of Australia.

Condon said the ACSU was investigating Pakistan’s tour of Australia, especially the Sydney Test in which the Asian team lost from an advantageous position.

“There has been an ongoing investigation since the time, because it is a series that worried us,” Condon said.

“We spent a lot of time talking to the players and the PCB but part of the challenge is to find where the solid fact is.

“We are satisfied that that was a totally dysfunctional tour from a Pakistani point of view and that led to players not performing well and maybe making them potentially under-perform deliberately.

“What we still need to establish is whether it was something more serious, doing it for a financial fix,” Condon said.

Meanwhile, reports said that Afridi, who has not played a Test since 2006, is planning to retire from the longer version of the game along with fellow all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.

Sources said both the players would be meeting PCB chairman Butt next week to convey their decision. (Agencies)