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“I Want To Create A Patch On This Pitch So Badly” – Shahid Afridi Recalls Famous Pitch Tampering Incident

Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi (Credit: Twitter)

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi recently recalled events that led to the famous pitch tampering scandal. Afridi was a part of the Test match played between England and Pakistan in Faisalabad in the year 2005. He was caught on camera damaging a particular area of the pitch with his boots during the match.

Afridi faced the heat of the officials. He was found guilty of pitch tampering and was banned for one Test and two ODIs. 17 years after the incident took place, Afridi has opened up about the controversy. He recalled the events of the test match that led to the scandal.

Speaking to Samaa TV, he said that the pitch was dead for the bowers. Shahid Afridi was bored by the lack of swing and seam of the pitch. He shared his urge to tamper with the pitch with his teammate Shoaib Malik, who gave him the green signal to go ahead with it. Here’s what he said:

“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 and I was applying my full force but nothing was happening.”

Shahid Afridi further added:

“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!’

“Shoaib Malik replied, ‘Kar de. Koi nai dekh raha'”. So I did that! And then, what happened is history. When I look back at it, you do realize it was a mistake.”

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Shahid Afridi and his unusual antics on the field

This is not the only case where he tried to cheat the game with his unusual tactics. In 2010, he was handed a two-T20 match ban on ball tampering charges after being caught on camera evidently biting the ball multiple times. As soon as the umpires got hold of it, they raised a complaint with the match officials. He was eventually found guilty of the charge. Later, he justified his actions by saying that he did it for the team.

“I shouldn’t have done it. It just happened. I was trying to help my bowlers and win a match. Just that one match. There is no team in the world that doesn’t tamper with the ball. I am embarrassed as my methods were wrong . I shouldn’t have done it but I just wanted to win us a game. This was the wrong way to do it,” he added. 

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