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Shahid Afridi is replaced by Malik after biting ball

Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi is Pakistan's regular Twenty20 captain

Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has been banned for two Twenty20 games and replaced by Shoaib Malik after biting the ball in a one-day match in Perth.

Afridi was caught on camera as he found a novel way to alter the state of the ball, and the umpires changed it before Australia wrapped up a 5-0 series win.

His suspension means he misses the first of two Twenty20 matches against England in Dubai on 19 February.

The ban starts Friday with the one-off match against Australia in Melbourne.

All-rounder Afridi was skippering Pakistan, as a stand-in for Mohammad Yousuf, in Sunday's day-nighter when the incident occurred.

I apologise to all and everyone involved in the match and to the fans around the world

Shahid Afridi

Television footage showed him grasping the ball in both hands on two separate occasions and scraping his teeth across the leather, before tossing it on to the bowler.

Cricketers have for many years tried to scuff up one side or raise the seam to make the ball behave differently, though it is an illegal practice.

Afridi said immediately after the match: "I was trying to smell it and how it was feeling."

However, he later admitted: "I am ashamed. I did it in the heat of the moment as the match was a close one, but I should not have done that, it's a serious offence.

"I apologise to all and everyone involved in the match and to the fans around the world. This will never happen again."

The ICC said in a statement that Afridi had been charged with an article 2.2.9 offence of its code of conduct which relates to "changing the condition of the ball".


ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle, who handed Afridi the maximum penalty available, said: "Afridi, when pleading guilty, apologised and regretted his actions."

In 2005, Afridi was banned for one Test and two one-day internationals for deliberately scuffing up the wicket with his spikes in a match against England in Faisalabad.

Afridi is officially the new Twenty20 captain, but that role has now been reverted to Shoaib Malik, the captain across all three formats early last year.

Younus Khan, who led Pakistan to ICC World Twenty20 glory in England last summer, has retired from the shortest version of the game.

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see also
Australia seal one-day whitewash
31 Jan 10 |  Cricket
Pakistan in Australia 2009-10
05 Feb 10 |  Cricket

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The Nation Pakistan Malik to lead Pakistan in Australia T20 - 1 hr ago
Deccan Herald All teams indulge in ball tampering, alleges Afridi - 4 hrs ago
Express Buzz Afridi in the eye of storm post 'biting' episode - 5 hrs ago
Gulf News Afridi biting off more than he could chew - 18 hrs ago
The Standard Afridi sorry as ban begins to bite - 18 hrs ago


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