February 24, 2010

Shahid Afridi believes ball biting issue blown out of proportions


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Khan Afridi has felt deeply hurt and disappointed the way the smearing campaign was launched against him following the ball biting incident during the fifth and final One-day International against Australia at Perth on January 31.

"I did commit a blunder in frustration by biting the ball and subsequently faced the punishment for the offence," he told APP Sports Correspondent Ehsan
Qureshi in an exclusive interview in Karachi on February 22 upon his return from Dubai
after the just concluded two-match Twenty20 International series against England.

"Our team was on a losing streak and in the heat of the moment I did a wrong thing in
in the state of frustration," he regretted in what probably was his first media interview in Pakistan after that controversial incident.

"In the past so many extraordinarily controversial incidents had taken place on and off the field in cricket but they had gone unnoticed because the media was not so strong in that era," he pointed out.

"I am really stunned at the manner in which the odd mistake of mine has been so much highlighted It’s very strange indeed to find the matter being blown out of proportions,” Shahid Afridi observed.

"I have already served the two-match ban imposed by the ICC and could face a bigger sentence if I do commit any other mistake,” he said.

"I once again apologize to the whole nation and my followers across
the globe for the wrong I committed. I have served the country to the best of my abilities and will continue to do so as long as required by PCB and the selectors," he

"Look at the golf superstar Tiger Woods. He had made a mistake and he apologized to his followers and chapter may shortly be closed. That’s all. The life has to go on,” the dashing all-rounder opined.

Well Shahid Afridi is a smart guy, having lived his life in Karachi. He has been one of the popular cricketers of the country despite his inconsistent record at the international level. A crowd puller in every part of the country he has had massive following abroad too.

He, however, has had his own share of problems. He’s not new to controversies. He was in the news for the wrong reasons when he was found guilty of attempting to damage a cricket pitch a few years ago.

Having been in and out of the team, he is also accused of being one of the leading characters in the plot to oust skipper Younis Khan at a time when he should have been his right hand man being the vice-captain.

Some observers feel that instead of helping out Younis Khan, the dashing all-rounder aligned with the intriguers in the team after being assured that he would be captaining the national team in the World Cup 2011.

Did he commit the blunder of his lifetime by deserting Younis Khan and joining hands with the forces that eventually succeeded in their designs or was it another big ‘six’ by the master blaster only time will tell.


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