New Delhi: Another video has emerged from the hearing on Pakistan’s disastrous tour of Australia and this time it features Pakistan T20 skipper Shahid Afridi. The video shows Afridi admitting at the hearing that even he had heard rumours of the Pakistan team’s involvement in match fixing.
Q: Why did it look like the players were all playing for themselves?
Shahid Afridi: As far as the fielding is concerned, we do very well in the practice sessions but we have a few players who perform well with the bat and then do not concentrate while fielding. They stand near the boundary, sign autographs and talk to girls. I have my eye on a few such players.
Q: Would you say there have been deliberate defeats?
Shahid Afridi: If you watch all the matches we have played recently, we have not been beaten in the matches, we have given away those matches. I think the reason is that we are not mentally strong. We had decided in our heads that we cannot beat Australia even before the match had started.
Q: Would you say that any member of the team wanted to intentionally lose a match?
Shahid Afridi: I have heard from others that such things exist but I do not know of any such player myself.
In the video, Shahid Afridi can also be heard blaming coach Intekhab Alam for demoralising the team and telling the committee they need to allow captains to settle down and let them have a longer tenure.
Shahid Afridi: I told our coach Intikhab Alam very clearly to tell me well in advance if I were to captain the team in the ODIs against Australia. But I was still made the captain only 40 minutes before the match.
Even as I prepared to go for the toss, undue pressure was put on me to win the toss. And I was told we will will the match only if we win the toss.
I told Alam, he should not demoralise the players. I am sure, comments like those can be avoided.
Yawar Saeed is a disciplinarian and we need to ensure people like him enforce strict discipline in the team. No one should be spared.
Also, the selection committee needs to give the captain of the team a longer run. Whoever is made captain should be allowed a stint for at least a year.