Afridi banned after he is caught ball-biting

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The Independent Online

Shahid Afridi has been suspended for two Twenty20 internationals after television cameras showed him biting the ball during his side's two-wicket defeat to Australia in Perth yesterday.

Afridi, who was captaining the side, was seen putting the ball to his mouth and apparently biting down on the surface of the ball. In a hearing straight after the close, match referee Ranjan Madugalle imposed two suspension points on the all-rounder, equating to two Twenty20 matches for his country, after Afridi had pleaded guilty.

Madugalle said: "I imposed the maximum penalty under the code to Shahid and reminded him of his responsibilities as a national captain which is to ensure that the match is played according to the laws of the game and in the spirit in which it is intended to be played. Shahid, when pleading guilty, apologised and regretted his actions."

Australia completed a 5-0 series whitewash with victory at the WACA after reaching a target of 213 with three balls to spare, the winning runs coming up after Ryan Harris spooned a catch to mid-off only for the square leg umpire to rule a no-ball as the delivery passed waist high. The inventive Mike Hussey was the hero for Australia, with 40 from 46 balls.

Australia bowled Pakistan out for 212, with their three frontline bowlers sharing the honours – Harris (3 for 32), Mitchell Johnson (2 for 42) and man-of-the-match Clint McKay (4 for 35).

Afridi will miss the match against Australia on Friday as well as the first of two matches against England in Dubai on 19 February. He was previously banned for one Test and two ODIs for damaging the pitch with his boot during a Test match against England in 2005.