Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has been quite a character in the cricketing world. From his explosive batting and wicket-taking bowling to his off-field dramas, Afridi made news in every way possible. Similarly, one such incident took place in 2005 where the former captain was banned for one Test and two ODIs on pitch-tampering charges.
Afridi had damaged the pitch with his boots against England in Faislabad, and after 17 years, the all-rounder has opened up about the controversy and addressed the incidents that led to him damaging the pitch.
While speaking to Samaa TV, Afridi talked about how he was getting bored as the pitch wasn’t either swinging or seaming. So he tried to make some changes. 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. I was applying my full force and nothing was happening.”
After that, he addressed, how a gas cylinder exploded and he told Shoaib Malik that he wanted to create a patch which help the ball to turn. He said, “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!).”
To this, “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 added.
The Test match ended as a draw after the England team was batting at 164 at the loss of six wickets. Top-order batter Inzamam-ul-Haq won the Player of the Match as he scored centuries in both innings of the game. He put up 109 in the first innings and then was unbeaten at 100 in the second. Pakistan went on to win the series 2-0 thanks to their dominant victories in the first and third Tests in Multan and Lahore, respectively.