The Commission into Pakistan's Australian tour is turning out to be almost as entertaining as the tour itself.
Shahid Afridi, never a man to steer clear of a confrontation ['I'm a Pathan. All the Pathans are very aggressive'] laid it down during his evidence: 'The reason is we are not mentally strong. We had decided in our heads we couldn't beat Australia even before that match had started...'
He then revealed the hitherto clandestine and hidden truths about fielding in professional cricket, long suspected but before today rarely spoken out loud: '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'.
Elsewhere at the Commission today: Afridi being told he was captain of the 50 over side 40 minutes before play ['I told our coach Intikhab Alam very clearly to tell me well in advance if I were to captain the team'] and being ordered by Alam not to lose the toss ['Undue pressure was put on me not to lose the toss. I was told we will win the match only if I win the toss'], while Kamran Akmal's performance in the Sydney Test [dropping Mike Hussey three times and fluffing a run out chance] came under the microscope [My suspicions are pretty high,' said assistant coach Aaqib Javed, 'They are high because of other things I know about the process, the people in the surroundings'; 'If you see it, it is shocking,' said Intikhab; 'I got the ball but I was totally blind and could not run out the batsman,' said Kamran].
Superb. Never mind leaking the footage. This one should go on general release in cinemas - it's a comedy classic.
The ICC are trying to ascertain whether the Pakistan team were 'dysfunctional' on that tour. Gentleman, I think you have your answer. As usual, when given the choice between cock-up or conspiracy, cock-up's the explanation. Listen to Shahid. He speaks the truth - even about fielding...
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