Shahid Afridi Revealed How He Tampered The Pitch Against England In 2005

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Shahid Afridi Revealed How He Tampered The Pitch Against England In 2005

Shahid Afridi


Shahid Afridi
Image Source - Crictoday

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi is one of the most controversial players ever in the game. As great as he was with his cricketing skills, Afridi also remained in the bad books of umpires, match officials, and the PCB for his regular transgressions.

Shahid Afridi is perhaps the player to be banned the most number of times for various reasons. And often he was caught red-handed in frames of the several cameras around him.

Recently, Afridi recalled an incident from the 2005 series against England when he was banned for suspended from one Test and two ODIs for attempting to tamper the pitch!

Shahid Afridi recalls his pitch tampering act in Faisalabad Test in 2005

In the Faisalabad Test match between hosts Pakistan and visitors England, Afridi had taken an opportunity of a distraction created by a gas cylinder explosion to tamper the pitch at both ends with his spikes.

While England were batting, a large gas cylinder that was used to power a cold drinks machine near the boundary exploded, leaving every player and authorities in concern. Some English players even thought that it was a bomb. “I was off. I thought it was a bomb,” said England opener Marcus Trescothick.

As the explosion went off, players of both the teams huddled in the middle of the ground surrounded by Pakistani police force and security. Before the time everything got cleared up and the reason for the explosion (a gas cylinder) was revealed, Shahid Afridi was quick on his feet - quite literally - to gain some unfair advantage and swiftly moved toward both sides of the pitch and at length stamped his spikes into the pitch to roughen up the surface to give Pakistani spinners some help.

Quite funnily, he was caught doing so with the cameras in the ground, including the stump cameras.

Speaking about this, Afridi said that his teammate Shoaib Malik had even encouraged him to do the act.

“It was a good series. That Test was in Faislabad. Believe me, it was a Test and the ball was neither turning, nor it was getting any swing or seam. It was getting quite boring. I was applying my full force and nothing was happening. Then suddenly, a gas cylinder exploded and everyone got distracted. I told Malik, ‘Mera dil chaah raha hai main idhar patch bana du. Ball toh turn ho!’ (I want to create a patch on this pitch so badly. I want the ball to turn!),” Afridi said on Samaa TV.

“Shoaib Malik replied, ‘Kar de. Koi nai dekh raha’ (Do it, no one is watching). So I did that! And then, what happened is history. When I look back at it, you do realise it was a mistake,” Afridi further said with a chuckle.

Caught in the act in daylight, match referee Roshan Mahanama handed Afridi a suspension of one Test and 2 ODIs.