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Afridi banned for damaging pitch

November 22, 2005 08:39 IST
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Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been banned for one Test and two one-dayers after admitting damaging the pitch with his boots in an incident after tea on day two of the second Test against England on Monday.

Afridi, who earlier in the day completed a swashbuckling 92, will miss the third and final Test in Lahore from November 29 and the first two one-day internationals on December 10 and 12.

The bans were imposed after a hearing held on Monday night by the ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama. Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer and captain Inzamam-ul Haq also attended.

Mahanama said in a statement: "This ban should serve as a message to players that this type of behaviour is not allowed.

"Mr Afridi apologised for his conduct and said he was very disappointed with himself for acting in that way.

"However, a player of his calibre and experience is a role model and he should set a good example as a lot of people not only in Pakistan but around the world look up to him. He has let them down with his actions today."

The referee had called the hearing after his attention was drawn to TV footage of Afridi.

England opener Marcus Trescothick had shown umpires Simon Taufel and Darrell Hair marks made by Afridi on the pitch. Attention had been diverted at the time after a gas cylinder explosion held up play for nine minutes.

GOOD LENGTH

Trescothick, who was out for 48 just before the close of play, said: "The marks are on a good length and it is up to people to judge how they might have been caused. I think most people have seen it on camera. Make your own assumption."

Coach Woolmer told Reuters: "I just hope this incident or the other controversial events in this Test don't take the gloss off our fine performance.

"I have told the players we need to re-focus on the game and try to continue our good work in the match."

On Sunday, England's Ian Bell took a contentious caught and bowled to dismiss Mohammad Yousuf when TV replays suggested the ball might have clipped the ground as the catch was completed.

On Monday, Pakistan skipper Inzamam was run out in controversial circumstances when Steve Harmison threw down the wickets after collecting the ball in his follow-through as Inzamam took evasive action to avoid being hit.

In another disciplinary move on Monday night, Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar was fined 20 percent of his match fee for a breach of logo policy.

England start day three on Tuesday on 113 for three, chasing Pakistan's first innings total of 462.

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Source: REUTERS
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