Pakistan Ball Tampering-Scandal: When Inzamam-ul-Haq Got Angry At Shahid Afridi For Biting The Ball And Getting Banned From Cricket Shahid Afridi tampering the ball. (Image: X screenshot)

On this day, January 31, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi committed an act that brought shame to his country. The world saw how trio of Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for tampering the ball in 2018. The SuperSport camera crew had caught Bancroft using a sandpaper to tamper the ball between the overs during the Cape Town Test. While these three faced bans, Afridi surprisingly was let go with a suspension of a few matches for doing the same. 

In this ODI vs Australia in 2010 on this very date, Afridi bit the ball as if he was eating a big apple. Later, in a TV show, Afridi had admitted that he was wrong in doing so and recalled the incident as something very ’embarrassing’.

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Sri Lanka’s match referee Ranjan Madugalle was officiating in that match. He is known for being a very strict referee but lucky Afridi escaped with just a two-match ban.

Eating a cricket ball.#OnThisDay in 2010.

Shahid Afridi was caught by TV cameras biting ball on a couple of occasions. It was reported to the on-field umpires by the TV umpire and, after a chat with Afridi, the umpires changed the ball.

Afridi has been banned for two T20Is_— Cricketopia (@CricketopiaCom) January 31, 2024

Inzamam-ul-Haq had slammed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) then for maintaining lack of discipline in the Pakistan team. He had also said that what Afridi did was ‘unacceptable’ and that Ranjan was way too kind to let him go with just two match bands. 

“What Afridi did was unacceptable and more worrying is the fact that he was captain when he tried to tamper with the ball. He didn’t do any service to Pakistan cricket with his actions,” Inzamam told PTI. “The match referee Ranjan Madugalle has been kind to Afridi, giving him just a two-match ban or Afridi could have been in bigger trouble.”

 “I hold the board responsible for all that is happening. It shows there is a need to enforce stricter discipline in the team. But the board itself promotes such things by giving unnecessary statements [changing the captain] during a tour,” he said. “Obviously it had a negative effect on the performance of the team and captain,” Inzamam had further said.

During his playing days, Afridi was controversy’s favourite child. Every now and then, he would do something that would either upset the ICC, his own board, his opponents or his teammates. His antics landed him in trouble more of than not. Former Pakistan cricketer and spinner Danish Kaneria accused Afridi of mocking his religion in the dressing room as well.

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