Afridi: England tour difficult

2010-09-23 13:51

Karachi - Pakistan's one-day captain, Shahid Afridi has described the tour to England that ended on Wednesday as one of the most difficult of his cricket career.

"It was one of the most difficult tours of my 14-year career. It was difficult to even venture out of the hotel, there were people hooting at us and there was lot of pressure on the players," Afridi told Geo News.

Pakistan lost the test, Twenty20 and one-day series to England and the team was rocked by allegations of fixing parts of matches against some of its players.

Test captain, Salman Butt and pace bowlers, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz were all questioned by Scotland yard over the allegations with the first three also suspended by the International Cricket Council after the News of the World newspaper broke a story on August 28 that the players had deliberately bowled no balls in the fourth test against England at Lords.

Afridi who had stepped down as test captain after Pakistan lost the first test to Australia in July returned to take charge of the team for the limited over matches.

"It was a difficult tour because of the allegations. Players were not comfortable even venturing out of the hotel, they were so many negative reports about the team, there was lot of stress on us," he said.

The all-rounder said that he gave lot of credit to his players for still leveling the one-day series at 2-2 despite the pressures before eventually losing it 3-2 with defeat on Wednesday in Southampton.

"The players were down and it was not easy lifting them up. It was very difficult but they responded well."

Afridi also called for the introduction of the umpires decision referral system in ODI cricket.

"They should have the referral system in one-dayers because one mistake by the umpire can change the course of the game," he said.

Afridi also did not rule out the possibility of coming out of retirement to return to the test team again for the forthcoming series against South Africa in the UAE.

"I will speak to the chairman of the board but there is no doubt Pakistan cricket is going through a difficult phase and we seniors have to play our role in getting the team out of this crisis," he said.