An absolutely exciting game between Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday saw an ugly end in Sharjah with spectators of the two nations fighting and physically hurting each other in the stands and outside the ground.
The fight between the partisan crowd was triggered by the on-field tussle between Pakistan batsman Asif Ali and Afghanistan pacer Fareed Malik. With the game getting closer in the death overs, and tension rising, tempers flared up between the two players after Fareed dismissed Asif.
Asif Ali had clattered two sixes in his knock – and one to Fareed – and had put Pakistan in a commanding position in the run-chase. On the 4th ball of the 19th over Asif smokes Fareed Ahmad’s full delivery for a six-over cow corner.
Fight in the field between Asif and Fareed; fight outside the field between fans of the two teams
But the bowler had the last laugh over Asif: on the very next ball, Fareed bowled a bouncer which hurried onto Asif who mistimed his pull shot and was caught by Karim Janat at fine leg. The Afghanistan players and their supporters erupted in joy. Amid this a wild scene ensued between Asif and Fareed.
After Janat completed the catch, Fareed went in the face of Asif and screamed and celebrated with his hands in the air. Unhappily, Asif shoved Fareed a bit away and began to turn when the bowler retaliated with plenty more words.
That enraged Asif further and he turned back sharply with his bat up, almost as if he was going to hit Ahmad with his bat. Fareed, though, further moved into the batter and gave him a shoulder bump.
Thankfully, before things could get even worse, fielder Azmatullah ran in between the two players and separated them, but both Asif and Fareed continued with verbal volleys before other players and the umpires intervened to calm them down.
Gulbadin Naib demands Asif Ali be banned from Asia Cup 2022
Former Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib has now demanded a strong action from the match officials and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the body which organises Asia Cup.
Calling Asif Ali’s action of threatening Fareed with the bat “not acceptable at all” and taking “stupidity” of the extreme level, Gulbadin Naib has opined that Asif should be banned from the rest of the tournament.
“This is stupidity at extreme level by Asif Ali and should be ban from the rest of the tournament, any bowler has the right to celebrate but being physical is not acceptable at all,” the Afghanistan all-rounder and former captain tweeted.
Here is Naib’s tweet:
This is stupidity at extreme level by Asif Ali and should be ban from the rest of the tournament, any bowler has the right to celebrate but being physical is not acceptable at all. @icc @ACCMedia1 pic.twitter.com/3ledpmM3mt
— Gulbadin Naib (@GbNaib) September 7, 2022