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Pakistan star Afridi banned, apologises in ball-tampering row
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#1
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1Nve3-_X6k[/youtube]

KARACHI — Pakistan's star all-rounder Shahid Afridi apologised on Sunday after being caught biting the ball in the final one-dayer against Australia, a bizarre episode which cost him a two-match ban.

The 29-year-old Afridi, leading the team in the absence of rested captain Mohammad Yousuf, was caught by television cameras chewing on one side of the ball while walking with bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan in the fifth and final match at the WACA in Perth.

Under International Cricket Council rules any attempt to change the condition of the ball through illegal means is a violation of the players' code of conduct and is liable to punishment.

The on-field and third umpires reported the incident to match referee Ranjan Madugalle who conducted separate hearings with team manager Abdur Raqeeb and Afridi before handing the player a two-match international Twenty 20 ban.

Afridi pleaded guilty and told AFP from Perth he was ashamed of the mistake.

"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," Afridi said.

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

Pakistan lost Sunday's match by two wickets for a 5-0 cleansweep, only their second such whitewash in one-day history.

The ban means Afridi, who is Pakistan's captain in the shortest format, will miss the February 5 Twenty20 match against Australia in Melbourne and also the first of two Twenty20 games against England in Dubai on February 18.

The dashing allrounder was banned for four one-day matches after he tried to hit a spectator during a match in South Africa in 2007.

He was also banned for a Test and two one-day internationals for deliberately damaging the pitch in the second Test against England at Faisalabad in 2005.

"Being the captain I should have been a role model for my players which I was not but I hope I will be forgiven," added Afridi.

The International Cricket Council confirmed that Afridi had received two suspension points after breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the game. Two suspension points in the code means a ban of a Test, two ODIs or two T20Is.

Match referee Ranjan Madugalle handed Afridi the maximum penalty under the provision of the code.

"I imposed the maximum penalty under the code to Shahid and reminded him of his responsibilities as a national captain which is to ensure that the match is played according to the laws of the game and in the spirit in which it is intended to be played," said Madugalle.

"Shahid, when pleading guilty, apologised and regretted his actions."

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#2
another sad news 4 pakistan :down:
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