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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 17:47 GMT
Afridi banned for damaging pitch
Shahid Afridi pictured on his way to the hearing
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been banned for a Test and two one-day internationals for damaging the pitch in the second Test against England.

He was caught on TV scraping his boots on the surface when play was held up after a gas canister exploded.

Umpire Darrell Hair and England batsman Marcus Trescothick noticed the difference when play resumed.

Afridi later pleaded guilty to a level three breach of the ICC code of conduct relating to the spirit of the game.

Match referee Roshan Mahanama said: "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."

Afridi was joined by captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Bob Woolmer at the hearing and can appeal in writing within 24 hours.

His suspension rules him out of the third Test and opening two one-day internationals, which all take place in Lahore, and the Pakistan Cricket Board will hold their own inquiry after the Faisalabad Test.

We showed the umpires straightaway, because it was obviously on a good length
Marcus Trescothick

But England will be concerned about the possible effect the 25-year-old's actions will have on a pitch which has so far offered little assistance to the bowlers.

Spin bowlers can extract sharp turn from rough patches on the wicket and Pakistan have three in their side - including Afridi, who bowls leg-spin.

Trescothick revealed his concerns after the close of play, saying: "We came back to the pitch, and there were a couple of marks.

"We showed the umpires straightaway, because it was obviously on a good length."

Meanwhile, Afridi's team-mate Shoaib Akhtar has been fined 20% of his match fee for a level one offence relating to manufacturers' logos on equipment.

Hair and fellow umpire Simon Taufel reported that the logos on the wristbands of the paceman's batting gloves breached rules.

Shoaib pleaded guilty to the offence and cannot appeal because match referees' decisions over level one breaches are binding.

Report: BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew


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