Afridi wants quick action in match fixing controversy

Karachi: Pakistan T20 skipper Shahid Afridi believes that the uncertainty surrounding players’ involvement in match fixing during the winless Australia tour is adversely effecting the team’s focus, and has asked the concerned authorities to take ‘decisive action’ over the issue soon.

Afridi said the controversy is damaging for players keeping in view that they have to compete in some important tournaments in the coming months, including the 2011 World Cup.

“The thing is that there is too much uncertainty because of all those allegations regarding match-fixing. It’s really damaging for the players and the team and I’m really concerned because it comes at a time when we are looking forward to a very busy calendar filled with major assignments, including the all-important World Cup,” The News quoted Afridi, as saying.

“We will be playing in the World Cup just nine months from now and it’s hardly the sort of situation you need to prepare for such a huge event,” he added.

The suspicion of match fixing involving some of the key players, particularly wicket keeper Kamran Akmal spiralled after a video tape was leaked to the media, which showed players and some of the former team officials raising questions over the performance of the team during the disastrous Australia tour while testifying before an inquiry committee set up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The leaked footage also showed Afridi raising suspicions of match fixing.

Afridi, however, refused to make any statement about the video, and urged the concerned authorities to resolve the issue as soon as possible so that players could concentrate on the game more.

“I think that for our team to move on, we need to quickly resolve all such controversies. You can’t expect the players to give their best when there are so many allegations thrown at them,” the flamboyant cricketer said.