Afridi instigated me: Akhtar | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Afridi instigated me: Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar blames Shahid Afridi for provoking him by saying offensive things about his family that caused Asif episode.

cricket Updated: Sep 10, 2007 14:01 IST
PTI
Shoaib Akhtar

Temperamental fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Saturday blamed Shahid Afridi for the brawl with Mohammad Asif which led to his ouster from the Pakistan team for the Twenty20 cricket World Cup in South Africa.

"Shahid Afridi said things about my family which I could not tolerate. He made comments which cannot be called jokes," Shoaib told a press conference in Lahore.

The mercurial pacer, who was sent back after hitting Asif with a bat, said he immediately apologised to his fellow pacer.

"After the incident, I went to Asif's room and apologised. He is fine now and will play in the championship next week," Shoaib said.

"Let me make it clear, I did not hit him intentionally. I am not an idiot to hit someone with a bat just like that. It was something which happened between Asif and me and we had sorted everything out. But once the reports started coming in media, the Board had to take some action," he added.

The express bowler said he was ready to face any disciplinary action that the Board might take against him.

"I respect the board's decision to send me back," he said.
Shoaib came down heavily on the media for sensationalising the incident and said he had been made a "villain".

"The matter got carried away. This was actually a misunderstanding which was blown out of proportion. The media has contributed to the whole controversy. I have been made a villain," he said.