Afridi vs Malik before Pakistan play India

Published: March 29, 2011
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Pakistan cricket team captain reacts sharply to Rehman Malik's 'warning' to his team against match-fixing. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pakistan cricket team captain reacts sharply to Rehman Malik's 'warning' to his team against match-fixing. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan cricket team captain Shahid Afridi has reacted sharply to Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s ‘warning’ to his team against match-fixing ahead of the high-stake Pakistan-India semi-final.

“I don’t think he should have said such a thing at such a time,” Afridi said, while talking to Geo News channel. “Everyone knows how big a match this is and the pressures that come with it. But we will just do our  best whatever the result. After the match we just want to be content in our hearts we gave our best.”

“The only answer we can give is with our performance. We will try to give 110 per cent in this big match,” he said.

Malik, speaking to reporters in Karachi on Monday, had said that the team is being monitored closely to avert a repeat of the embarrassing spot-fixing scandal in August last year. “The team is being kept under close scrutiny before the match because of the recent spot-fixing scandal. We are not taking any more risks and do not want more such scandals,” he said. He later repeated his comments in Islamabad.

“We are satisfied that the present team members are clean and aware of the damage already caused to Pakistan cricket by the scandal,” Malik said but added that intelligence was being gathered on the players regarding who they were meeting or conversing with over the telephone.

By way of damage control, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani telephoned Afridi later on Monday and wished the team the best of luck.

“The prime minister conveyed the sentiments and prayers of the whole nation for the team’s success. He said that irrespective of the result of the match the team should demonstrate the best of sportsmanship and dedication to the contest,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister House said.

Afridi assured the prime minister that each team member would put in his best performance for a favourable result.

In bad taste

Malik’s statement was also not received well by former cricket players and administrators.

Cricket greats Imran Khan and Zaheer Abbas said the statement would affect the team’s morale. “I just hope he didn’t mean what he said as it is not good for the team,” Khan told an Indian news channel. “I would rather watch Rehman Malik than the cricket team. I am serious. He was absconding. My worry is not the cricket team but it’s him.”

Former chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Arif Ali Abbas, while talking to The Express Tribune, said the statement was extremely discouraging. “It is a really sensitive issue to talk about. I don’t know what exactly Malik’s intention is but this is surely a discouraging statement as this is not the right time to bring up such things,” he said.

Former PCB chairman General Tauqir Zia said that Malik’s statement could have been prompted by a government-level report that players may be approached for match-fixing. “But again, I don’t think the warning should be given in public as this is surely discouraging,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl’s (JUI-F) Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, while speaking on a point of order in the Senate, also grilled the interior minister. “At such an important occasion when the national team is to face India and the prime minister is also visiting the country, this statement from the interior minister is inappropriate,” he said.

Negativity all around

Meanwhile, Afridi accused the Indian media of conducting a negative campaign against his team before the eagerly-anticipated semi-final match.

“There is so much negativity in the Indian media. There is no­thing positive to watch on the channels and we are just stic­k­ing together as a team and it is just the hotel and ground for us,” Afridi said.

(WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY IRFAN GHAURI IN ISLAMABAD AND INPUT FROM REUTERS)

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (69)

  • moise
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:29AM

    I hope Rehman Malik is granted Indian citizenship soon.Recommend

  • KR
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:32AM

    Mr. Shahid Afridi, on behalf of entire Pakistan we all would like to wish you and the entire Pakistani Cricket team best of luck and please don’t let Rehman Malik’s stupid statement distract you from achieving your goal. Whole country believes in our team and your leadership qualities. Do us all a big huge favor and just ignore the idiot you guys are the real heroes.

    Rehman Malik probably never had a goal in his entire life let along trying to achieve anything other than lying, stealing and putting money in his back pocket. Whole nation is behind you and make us proud to be Pakistanis, once aging good luck and bring the World Cup home. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:45AM

    PPP and Malik should be ashamed of themselves of talking about match fixing. This is only a smear campaign against our cricketers who have not even heard this before. This team of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is Muslim and they have not committed any act against Islam.

    Never dug up the wicket, chewed up the ball, caught red-handed taking money and wearing money jacket. Wearing T-shirt during Qatar hearing demanding legalization of marijuana, etc.

    These guys have been caught red-handed by the International anti crime organization and they are rightfully under the radar. How dare the chief law enforcement officer of Pakistan caution them about their clean cut behavior? Malik and PPP especially Zardari should be ashamed of themselves and apologize these pious and angle-like cricketers of fabricating the allegations that their virgin ears have not even heard before.

    Not only Imran Khan and his new found love MQM should come to these angle’s rescue but all right wing parties must join them. I would urge the SC, CJ for keeping his traditions, pounce on this opportunity to take suo moto action against these PPP bloody politicians to caution the cricketers to keep it clean! Time to move CJ.

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • KR
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:47AM

    Very smart decision, it is not appropriate to watch Mr. 10% or Rehman Malik for anyone let along our national Cricket team. Good luck guys Recommend

  • SA
    Mar 29, 2011 - 8:57AM

    @ Rehman Malik, look who’s talking!!Recommend

  • M Bilal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:10AM

    Mr. Malik… First do your job properly then ask others to do something!!Recommend

  • Babruk
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:14AM

    Indian electronic media seems even crazier than Pakistani one. they have a latest conspiracy theory of ‘kala pathar’. and can someone please ask Rehman Malik to keep quiet and not to poke his nose where he has no business to do so.
    And can someone tell Afridi, that this is what we call pressure game. Indian media is applying pressure tactics. recognize it, laugh at it and focus on your game. good luck. winning or losing doesn’t matter that much. what matters is your spirit and your ability to face the pressure.
    And can someone tell our Pakistani nation. cool down guys! i know it is a big match but our existence doesn’t depend on it. Believe me we will survive if we lose and we will not mutate into some super humans if we win.
    CheersRecommend

  • Babruk
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:16AM

    Indian electronic media seems even crazier than Pakistani one. they have a latest conspiracy theory of ‘kala pathar’. and can someone please ask Rehman Malik to keep quiet and not to poke his nose where he has no business to do so. And can someone tell Afridi, that this is what we call pressure game. Indian media is applying pressure tactics. recognize it, laugh at it and focus on your game. good luck. winning or losing doesn’t matter that much. what matters is your spirit and your ability to face the pressure. And can someone tell our Pakistani nation. cool down guys! i know it is a big match but our existence doesn’t depend on it. Believe me we will survive if we lose and we will not mutate into some super humans if we win. CheersRecommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:17AM

    Mr. Malik, your stupid and senseless warnings won’t stop match fixers. The game of cricket was taken over by match fixers long time ago. No government or controlling body can clean it from this disease. Its useless to make such statements. Recommend

  • Noor
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:18AM

    I thought fixers and ball chompers should be viewed negatively…Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:23AM

    Those who opposed Malik’s statement never tried to deny the charges made by him, all they said is timing is inappropriate, what does it means ?Recommend

  • Zehra Siddiqui
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:28AM

    I wish Shahid Afridi and his entire team the very best. This team has been working hard to win and their win against Australia was a proof of their hardwork. We as Pakistanis need to back them up and pray for their win as whatever performance they will give out there will be the support of the entire nation. I hope the government would declare Wednesday, March 30 as a Public Holiday as this is a day where the entire Pakistani people will be united towards one goal i.e. to win against our rival India. Is there anyone here who does not feel that tomorrow is just like the finals of the World Cup? I bet that the whole cricketing nations would be watching this Clash of the Titans match!Recommend

  • Noble Tufail
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:33AM

    … once upon a time , there lived a brutus in pakistan. His country gave him every thing, but he in return ……..Recommend

  • SK
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:36AM

    Mixing politics with sports… bad idea. Why do our political puppets needs to get involved in the first place? and like before everytime Rehman Malik speaks or tries to take an initiative, he does more damage than good.
    Best of luck for the game tomorrow. I can understand the negativity in India, but lets just hope we can change the target of that negativity and show them our resolve. Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:45AM

    Rehman baba like always, will keep amusing the public with his ridiculous statements. Keep it Rehman baba.Recommend

  • Truth_Prevails
    Mar 29, 2011 - 9:59AM

    Ahhh!!!! Rehman Malik. Can someone look for a better job for him in line with his credentials please!Recommend

  • noor muhammad
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:00AM

    what i fail to understand is why has rehman malik has given such a statement at such crucial time. is it to dusturb the mind of our test team.what will rehman malik gain from it. it would be interesting to get the views of readersRecommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 10:04AM

    Let’s have a poll at Tribune which runs like this:

    Do you like Afridi or Rehman Malik?

    And everyone is here to see the results, never mind Pakistan wins or looses. Recommend

  • Jamshed
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:20AM

    Don’t put your dirty politics into cricket Mr. Rehman, we only have this thing left so STAY AWAY from it!Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 10:32AM

    The filthy pot calling the kettle black. This corrupt parasite does not need to lecture these brave ambassadors of Pakistan on honesty when he himself is one of the goons of the dirtiest and most corrupt organization in Pakistan. WE are watching YOU malikRecommend

  • Marium
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:39AM

    Rehman Malik should resign!!Recommend

  • cricket
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:47AM

    seriously malik has lost it, he should worry about how to fix the state of affairs in pakistan rather than worry about cricket. Afridi – don’t pay him any attentionRecommend

  • cricketfan
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:48AM

    Pakistanis and Indians in London have got the news that there has been a deal with Hamid Gul and Misbah and bookies in India to lose the match. We Pakistanis want Rehman Malik to do something about it right now before its too late. Its a shame that its not even been 6 months since the last match fixing incident. Sad really sad. Recommend

  • Ehsan
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:51AM

    @Jawed Iqbal:

    His timing may be wrong but wath out… his waring was right!Recommend

  • samie cashmiri
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:57AM

    Rehman Malik should publicly apologize to the Pakistan Team and the public. He has abused his position by making an irresponsible statement that is nothing short of a child’s AGT – Attention Gaining Tactics. Rehman Malik does not deserve the position that he has and President Zardari would do better by making him a Minister in Charge of Opposition Management, if at all. Imran Khan and Zaheer Abbas have expressed what every Pakistani feels after this ludicrous statement. So Shahid Afridi and the Pakistan Cricket Team – Forget what Rehman Malik said, Just Go Out there and play to the best of your abilities!Recommend

  • Chips
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:59AM

    Monitoring of cricket team players is not in your jurisdiction, Mr. Rehman. They are playing world cup outside Pakistan. You are overstepping your limits.Recommend

  • Omer
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:59AM

    Douche bag!Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:00AM

    @ Shahid Afridi
    If you shout at an Ass! You make an ass of yourself. This is an unfortunate era for our nation to
    be ruled by asses and mules. You have won the admiration of the nation and we all stand by you and pray that your team stands and gives the best the can. Win or loss is of little matter,we
    want the team to play with the olympic spirit.Recommend

  • Khalid
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:07AM

    Rehman malik Chawalein marta rehta hei and this time its the big one chawal…Recommend

  • Shahid Saeed
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:08AM

    Mr. Rehman Malik: Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!Recommend

  • lubna moin
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:10AM

    At this crucial time we must convey our team the message that we respect them and trust them so they perform more better with faith. rehman Malik must say sorry to out cricket team.Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 11:14AM

    At such a juncture if Rehman Malik is giving such statements – Definitely, it is going to do nothing except give credence to the already doubtful population of our country as to who he works for …. !

    One of the points that the India Media mentioned in “operation demolish pakistan” documentary was that, India can try to unsettle the Pakistani side by events occuring outside of the cricketing pitch … and such actions by Rehman Malik are nothing less than what they actually wanted …

    Way to go Bal Thackeray …. way to go Rehman Malik …. Way to go Raymond Davis – you all are one big group …

    For you all losers ….. PAKISTAN is still gonna win !!! our team represents the ordinary Pakistanis and history is proof that such are the people who are always willing to step in case of adversity ..

    GO TEAM GREEN !Recommend

  • Tigon
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:18AM

    Malik’s limited intelligence comes through again! Unfortunately, he is a reflection of the leadership that choose him.Recommend

  • sumbal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:20AM

    best of luck pakistani team and win this match…..Recommend

  • sumbal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:20AM

    best of luck AfridiRecommend

  • nadia
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:23AM

    malik is not of us, we are pakistaniRecommend

  • sumbal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:24AM

    you are right, malik cant think and cant do any good thing for [email protected]: Recommend

  • A.BANDA
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:29AM

    Bereham Malik !!! he does not deserve to be a minister. Definitely this is not the time to make such comments. We shall enjoy the game in its true spirit . This Malik perhaps thought that Srilankans are fixed the match when his boys won the match. Never politicise the game and instead encourage them for a good show which ultimately bring cheers to all !!! Secondly Afridi should play Akthar as it would be his lost game and save him from disgrace for the rest of his life.Recommend

  • Javed
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:42AM

    Malik! YOU SUCK! as always..just like all other politicians of Pakistan.
    Why don’t you fix the corruption of your govt. and your own office before pointing a finger towards the PK cricket team. Just like Imran Khan said that “I’m more worried about Rahman Malik then the cricket team” very well said Mr, Khan. I wish you were the President of Pakistan.Ahhhh! Recommend

  • Shazada Malik Zahid Mahmoud Loan
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:43AM

    Rehaman Malik has gone berserk to say the least. How and why he was made an Interior Minister it defy logic – but given the PPP government’s performance I am not surprised. This Rehaman Malik is an extremely stupid man with very little understanding of politics – he must be removed quickly before he does more damage. He has not been able to control either the killings in Karachi nor has been able to arrest the growth of crime in the country.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:44AM

    Joker of our Country keeps his show going… He is really a good entertainer…Recommend

  • joel
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:49AM

    what if malik’s information was true and some palayers in pak team indeed tried to fix match. I dnt knw about u guys but personely i cnt trust people lyk akmal brothers. Yes there r people lyk afridi younus in the team who r clean wil remain clean but one persons involvement can destroy hope of whole nation. So its good to warn them b4 hand. Any way by playing fair and hard u win or loose always support u green shirts GOOD LUck.Recommend

  • Inasu Chirayath
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:53AM

    Wrong comment at a wrong time. This is a game and not a ‘nuclear deal’. Politicians should be kept away from sports. I believe this current line-up of Pakistan is clean and sincere, played well in all the matches so far but still looking at them suspicious will be a crime! Good luck for tomorrow’s match!Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 11:54AM

    those using twitter can access Rehman Malik jokes, one-liners by searching for #malikism (a reference to Bushism).Recommend

  • Bunny
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:56AM

    Best of luck Afridi lala……I have request to every one that please pool some money and buy rehman malik…a rickschw….so that he can write his all statements on his rickschaw….he is also inventor of sentence…..ma ki dua jannat ki hawa……..

    he will looks like james bond in rickshaw with black shades on……Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:58AM

    Abdul Rahman Malik should have been more responsible, his job is to keep his eyes and ears open with tongue locked.Recommend

  • Andaleeb
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:11PM

    Malik and his buddy boss … have already FIXED the whole nation .. they have already kept Pakistan at stake. He should be ashamed of what he said in the past and better not open a new list of his follies.Recommend

  • Chilli
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:25PM

    Mr. Malik mind your own business. You are below par and your ministry need to be observed closely. You did nothing to stop bloodshed in Sindh and Baluchistan. You ministry utterly failed so did PPP so stop spoiling only positive thing happening in Pakistan. How can you prove that you are loyal to the country??? Your act is shameful and awful.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:30PM

    The list goes on, ….,Sherry Rehman, Durrani, Qureshi, now…..Malik,
    What Pakistanis will do if malik proved to be right ?Recommend

  • Kravitz
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:48PM

    Mr. Malik is just protecting his interests by issuing a public warning. He and his boss have probably wagered money on a side already. So he wants to make sure they get their share, and nobody messes with it.

    Well done for humiliating your own national team. It is not acceptable in any circumstance, anytime, anywhere in the world and least of all when the team are in India after a long time, playing for their pride.Recommend

  • pakistaninlondon
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:50PM

    @cricketfan: you are right Indians in London are already celebrating as gul and misbah have been bought over by indian bookies to throw the match. Its a sad day for pakistan. Pakistan should not forgive them ever.Recommend

  • Saliha
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:06PM

    Forget the flaws yar and get ready for yet another blast tomorrow
    Impatiently waiting for the Match… PAKISTAN U’L have to have the crown up on ur heads this time! < Boom Boom > B))))Recommend

  • Saliha
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:13PM

    @ashok sai:
    Forget predictions man and enter into the world of optimism and good thoughts along with a BAG of Luck for the team … Recommend

  • Amer
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:20PM

    @ashok sai: What kind of a hate monger are you? Surely the brainless kind!! Recommend

  • Abdul Ali
    Mar 29, 2011 - 1:34PM

    The comment from Interior Minister was not called for. Loose statements can have serious implications and can demoralise the team.

    There is an old saying: Phale baat ko toolo bhir booloRecommend

  • Palvasha von Hassell
    Mar 29, 2011 - 2:52PM

    Such a lot of nonsense, my dears!! Instead of encouraging and supporting, RM puts his foot in it. Consider, Afridi already feels that the Indian press is being biased against Pakistan. To Malik, “with friends like these, who needs enemies”? To team: “just ignore all the negativity and malice, and play a good…no, a grand game. Take heart, we are all with you”.Recommend

  • M Bilal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 3:09PM

    @ashok sai: What other 4 people that you mentioned have to do with this sorry episode? The country has suffered the most in his tenure as Interior Minister yet he has the courage to undermine someone elses integrity and competency.Recommend

  • M Bilal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 3:15PM

    @ashok sai: First of all yes his timing was wrong and secondly if its his responsibility as interior minister to monitor cricket teams activities on international tours; then we as citizen of Pakistan would like to ask what was he doing when that spot fixing episode happend and also what steps did he take then to get to the root cause of the probelem.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Mar 29, 2011 - 3:52PM

    @M Bilal:

    Mr.Bilal, the persons I have mentioned are all victims of knee-jerk reaction from public and the government, so I predicted the same fate for Mr.Malik also. Recommend

  • M Bilal
    Mar 29, 2011 - 5:58PM

    @ashok sai: If its so then may be we should also say that Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, P Chidambram all are victims and are being bashed without any reasoning in India.

    By the way for your kind info Rehman Malik is not a victim, rather is a culprit, and that you living in India will not understand.Recommend

  • Copper
    Mar 29, 2011 - 6:48PM

    @ashok sai:
    “Sherry Rehman, Durrani, Qureshi”

    Do you know who are they? What knee-jerk reactions they received?
    better educate yourself then comment (even better if you keep your precious thoughts to your national Indian newspapers). Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:18PM

    If Pakistan wins the game it is great for them. If they lose then it must be a conspiracy hatched by Malik, Zardari, Indians, USA and Jews. Well jews don’t play cricket but still they must be involved against defaming of our little angle cricketers. In short whether win or lose, Pakistani team has all the excuses alrady ready.

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • Rehman
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:12PM

    Mr. Malik whom are you working for? Recommend

  • sheryar
    Mar 30, 2011 - 4:22AM

    Members of this government seem to pride themselves on timing. Our President disappears on holidays to Europe when the floods hit and just when the country turns its attention to something that offers it a glimmer of hope, in jumps our interior minister to not only embarass the people who offer us this hope, but to ridicule the whole nation in the eyes of the world. The Indian government must have raised an eyebrow too. Is Mr. Malik indirectly telling the Indians that there are members of Pakistan’s ISI in Mohali with the Pakistan cricket team?Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 30, 2011 - 12:40PM

    Where should we take this bout to the Security Council or the ICJ? The Weasel who got into
    the hen coop has certainly got the farmers on the run; Now whether he runs off with the eggs or
    the chickens or may be with both, can the farmers convince either the members or the judges that they were bamboozled. Incidently the insurance companies have not made any statement
    about payments in case of losses to the bookies unless that is permissible. In Pakistan today everything is possible, in India I cannot vouch. Come let us shun the media and the ministers
    and watch the gladiators in the arena.Recommend

  • Yadagiri
    Mar 31, 2011 - 12:05PM

    Shahid Afridi and team,
    We from India appreciate your sportsmanship for reacting in a balanced way to the loss. This should be a good beginning for Indo-pak cricketing as well as other relations and put aside other emotional factors that cause tension. Lets make the dream of Manmohan singh’s a reality by making South Asia as a region like Europe where people can go to any country as tourists as well as maintain relations. Well done Pak. and Congrats to indian team. — Yadagiri from Hyderabad-Andhra Pradesh – IndiaRecommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Mar 31, 2011 - 2:05PM

    @moise:
    What makes you think that the indians need another idiot hazaam!!!!!
    India has more than its fair share of idiots already, so please keep this fool in your country.
    What baffles me is how do people of this calibre actually manage to get into position of power???? What are his creditials???Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Mar 31, 2011 - 4:22PM

    @Yadagiri:
    Which world are you living in?? Or are on some kind of medication?? Perhaps you are still dreaming from yesterday!!
    Nice idea ! But it takes nice people to do that too!! Not people who refuse to acknowledge any problems and crises facing themselves and region too!!! Most definately not the one who await for Allah to solve the problems for them!!!
    The reason it works in europe is due to understanding basic code of humanity, that is mutual respect !!! which is very hard for this particular group, as they will class any non muslim as either a Kaffir or Non believer!!!
    One can not build society or create economic zones in that enviornment!! It takes transparency and trust. Both of these commodities are rather scarce in our neighbour on the western front at present.Recommend

  • Apr 5, 2011 - 11:10PM

    i heard today that rehman malik told afridi before the match on a phone call about the match being fixed etc. can somebody explain it or come up with any confirmed news about it?Recommend

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