Abdul Qadir has his foot in his mouth

Published: Saturday, April 10, 2004, 0:11 [IST]
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Lahore:Under-attack for his controversial remarks, former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir on Friday clarified that what he meant was the ability of Pakistan bowlers to reverse swing the old ball and not tampering.

In a programme on State-run PTV earlier this week, Qadir had said the Pakistan bowlers were finding it difficult to work on the ball because of increased scrutiny by TV cameras.

"I have never said Pakistani bowlers tamper with the ball, in fact the television footage is there as evidence," said Qadir, who took 236 wickets for Pakistan and was regarded as one of the best leg-spinners of all time.

"What I said on the show was that Pakistani bowlers excel only after they make the ball and by that I meant that they shine the one side and the other side is rough," he said.

"Pakistani bowlers are famous for reverse swing with the old ball and there is nothing sinister in it. With me on the show was former fast bowler Aaqib Javed and he seconded my opinion and I never used the word tampering," said Qadir.

Pakistan's interior minister Sheikh Rasheed took note of Qadir's comments on Pakistan television and immediately ordered his suspension from future television programmes.

"I have played cricket for 18 years and with dignity. How can I allege against my fellow players," the former cricketer said adding he was hurt by the developments.

"I have said a lot of good things on cricket revival between Pakistan and India and can never think of spoiling the image of my country. Once the Indian team completes the tour I will deal with the matter and clear my position," he said

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