Afridi backs PCB punishments as "a step in the right direction"

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Karachi, Apr 12(ANI): Pakistan Twenty20 skipper Shahid Afridi has described the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) decision to punish seven players following an inquiry into the crushing whitewash on the tour of Australia, as "a step in the right direction".

Afridi, who has been put on six-month probation and fined Rs three million by the PCB for ball-tampering, feels if something was brewing in the team, then the authorities have done the right thing by taking a tough stand.

"As far as other players, who are accused of infighting, many officials and players have recorded their reservations in front of the inquiry committee. So, I think there is something suspicious and that is why these punishments have been meted out," The Daily Times quoted Afridi, as saying.

"The board cannot take any decision without pertinent cause and I am sure there is something in it. The board might not be eager to leak out the evidence they have, but they have to set example and I think it is a step in right direction," he added.

PCB also banned former captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf for indefinite period and imposed 12-month bans on Shoaib Malik and Rana Navedul Hasan besides fining Akmal brothers - Kamran and Umar.

Akmal brothers and Naved have already filed formal appeals with the board against their punishments, while Yousuf has retired in protest.

When asked if the board had any evidence against the players to take action, Afridi said: "Obviously, how can you ban the likes of Younus, Yousuf, Naved or Shoaib without justifiable cause?"

Afridi further said that the decision has allowed the team to re-group and work together for the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies, which starts on April 30.

"For one and half months I have tried to keep the team together and tried to put it through to everyone that whatever wrong has been done by others is history, this is our chance to undo those wrongs," Afridi said.

"As a captain I am attempting to lift the self-confidence of the players and so far the camp has been productive," he added. (ANI)

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