There seems no respite for the Pakistan cricket team in England as after facing spot-fixing allegations, temperamental fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has landed the scandal-hit side in the middle of a ball-tampering controversy.
Akhtar was caught on camera tampering with the cricket ball during their fifth ODI match against England last night at the Rose Bowl stadium in Southampton, which Pakistan lost by a massive 121 runs.
"In the last game of their acrimonious tour of England at the Rose Bowl last night fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar could be seen apparently running his left thumb along the ball's seam before dropping the ball on the ground and standing on it with his spiked right boot," the 'Daily Mail' reported on Thursday.
"Sportsmail's pictures were taken in the 41st over of England's innings as Shoaib prepared to bowl to Paul Collingwood," it said.
No stranger to controversy, Akhtar was filmed by Sky cameras flicking at the ball with his thumb during an ODI here against England four years ago.
The 35-year-old was let off at that time. His behaviour also came under the scanner when he was accused of tampering with the ball during a Test match in Zimbabwe in late 2002 and was subsequently warned.
For the same offence committed against New Zealand in Sri Lanka, Akhtar was banned for two ODIs and fined 75 per cent of his match fee.
The Pakistan team was hit by a series of controversies during the just-concluded tour. Three players -- Test captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir -- were alleged spot-fixing during the Lord's Test last month.
The three players were also questioned by the Scotland Yard.
The matter didn't end there as fresh spot-fixing allegations hit the team during the ODI series also. The ICC launched an investigation into their third ODI against England after being tipped off about suspicious scoring patterns by a British tabloid.