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Asif Ali should be banned from the rest of the Asia Cup: Former ACB CEO Shafiq Stanikzai

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Former chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), Shafiq Stanikzai, lashed out at Pakistan batter Asif Ali for his actions during the Asia Cup 2022 Super Four match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Pakistan batter Asif Ali and Afghan paceman Fareed Ahmed were embroiled in a heated confrontation during the closing stages of Wednesday evening’s thrilling Asia Cup match in Sharjah.

Tempers flared in the penultimate over of the T20 contest after Ahmed removed Ali for 16 with a bouncer that was top-edged towards short fine leg, where Karim Janat pouched the catch.

The dismissal left Pakistan needing 12 runs to win off nine balls with one wicket in hand, putting Afghanistan in a commanding position.

Before Ali started making his way towards the dugout, Ahmed pumped his fist and roared with delight directly in front of the 30-year-old.

The right-handed batter responded by shoving Ahmed before walking towards the sheds, only for the Afghan bowler to offer a few words of advice.

Ahmed then spun around and lifted his bat in the air, seemingly threatening to strike his opponent in scenes reminiscent of Javed Miandad’s infamous encounter with Dennis Lillee in 1981.

Stanikzai reckoned that Asif Ali’s act was nothing but ‘stupidity’ and the Pakistan batter should be banned from the rest of the ongoing championship. The veteran said that Asif shouldn’t have resorted to violent means.

Stanikzai took to Twitter and wrote, “This is stupidity at extreme level by Asif Ali and should be ban from the rest of the tournament, any bowler has the right to celebrate but being physical is not acceptable at all.”

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N Krishnamurthy