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Does Afridi's Ball Tampering Mean Pakistan Will Always Cheat?

The Mad Chatter - Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Shahid Afridi biting the ball

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's stand-in captain for the One Day International cricket match against Australia in Perth on Sunday 31 January 2010, has been suspended for two matches by the International Cricket Council after pleading guilty to ball tampering. He was caught biting, yes biting, the ball!!

This latest controversy involving the Pakistan team makes me wonder if they will ever give up on their less than noble tactics and just try to win a match like every other cricket playing nation.

Initially Afridi told ABC radio he was just trying to smell the ball as he thought there was something strange on it. Well I smell a rat about Afridi's ball smelling excuse. How ridiculous!!

The suspension could not have come at a worse time for Pakistan or Afridi. The Pakistani team had picked up some real cricket fans this summer during the Test Series and One Day Internationals. They were a team of no-names when they arrived down-under. After some good cricket, the average punter actually began respecting them until their latest ball tampering episode.

Afridi won over Aussie cricket fans with his skills whilst playing for South Australia in the domestic KFC 20/20 Big Bash tournament this summer but those fans have now written him off. He has lost any ground he made.

Afridi did apologise. "I shouldn't have done it. It just happened. I was trying to help my bowlers and win a match, one match", Afridi told a Pakistan news channel. "There is no team in the world that doesn't tamper with the ball. My methods were wrong. I am embarrassed, I shouldn't have done it. I just wanted to win us a game but this was the wrong way to do it. I apologise to all and everyone involved in the match and to the fans around the world. This will never happen again", he said.

Well the apology was nice but his comments about everyone ball tampering is garbage and to say this will never happen again is also garbage. Pakistan has a long history with ball tampering. In 1992 during a test series against England, Pakistan was accused of ball tampering. However, there was no evidence of this. Pakistan legend Imran Khan sued England's Ian Botham for slander in 1996 as a result of the 1992 accusations. In 2000, Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis was the first player to player to be suspended for ball tampering.

And who can forget the absolute farce in 2006 when Aussie umpire Darrell Hair awarded England five runs in accordance with the rules after Pakistan team members allegedly were tampering with the ball. At the time the Pakistani team copped the five run penalty but then cracked a wobbly later in the match and would not return to the field after the tea interval. Pakistan's captain Inzamam ul-Haq refused to let his team play on and as a result the umpires awarded England the victory. This was the first time in history that a Test Match was decided in these circumstances.

So whether Afridi is sorry and embarrased I don't care. I only have one thing to say.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck...then it's a duck!!

This cricket fan doesn't believe for one second that it wont happen again.

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