Dashing all-rounder and Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi has requested authorities to take swift and decisive action to clean Pakistan cricket of match-fixing charges.
Afridi told 'The News' in an interview on Friday that such controversies could be fatal for Pakistan's hopes in major events like the next year's World Cup.
"There is too much uncertainty because of all those allegations regarding match-fixing," said the experienced allrounder, who is widely seen as the man who could be leading Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup to be hosted jointly by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka in February-March.
"It's really damaging for the players and the team and I'm really concerned because it comes at a time when we are looking forward to a very busy calendar with major assignments including the all-important World Cup," he said.
"We will be playing in the World Cup just nine months from now and it's hardly the situation you need to prepare for such a huge event," he added.
The menace of match-fixing has reared its ugly head again in Pakistan with the National Assembly's Standing Committee holding a hearing Monday after video footage of a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) meeting was leaked to the media, showing players and former officials raising suspicions about match-fixing during the national team's catastrophic tour of Australia that ended last February.
The leaked footage also showed Afridi raising suspicions of match-fixing but the player refrained from speaking about it. Afridi, 30, instead stressed that he is expecting the authorities to somehow resolve the issue as soon as possible.
"I think that for our team to move on, we need to quickly resolve all such controversies. You can't expect the players to give their best when there are so many allegations thrown at them," said Afridi.