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Pakistan team return home after Eng tour

Published: Friday, September 24, 2010, 13:18 [IST]
 
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'The 'most difficult' tour of my career'

Karachi: Pakistan One-day skipper called Pakistan's controversial tour of England the 'most difficult' of his career as the team returned home after four months of Cricket in the British nation.

Coach Waqar also termed the tour to be a 'punishing tour' on and off the field after the various corruption allegations against various Pakistan cricketers disturbing the tour.

Afridi reportedly flew in to Karachi with three team-mates while the rest of the squad arrived in Lahore in the early hours, with heavy security escorting the players out of both airports.

"It was tough because of the controversies and became very difficult to cope with, because every time we went out of the hotel people passed remarks against us," Afridi told a scrum of reporters in Karachi.

"Because of the controversies on the tour, it was the most difficult tour of my 14-year career," the explosive all-rounder added.

The tour ended on Wednesday with Pakistan losing the one-day series 3-2. England also won both the Test and Twenty20 series.

The tour will be remembered less for the on-field play and more for the off-field revelations by British tabloids that sparked investigations by Scotland Yard and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Allegations of spot-fixing in the Lord's Test against England engulfed Test captain Salman Butt along with bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif. All three were questioned by British police and returned home early to Pakistan.

Despite all the controversies which caught the headlines throughout the tour, Afridi said that the team unity had remained intact.

"The best part of the whole tour was that the players showed unity even in difficult times and gave a good fight in the one-day series against England," he said, while also hinting at a return to Test cricket.

"I will think about it and if the team needs it, I may consider playing the Test series against South Africa," he said, ahead of the Proteas encounters starting late next month on neutral turf in the United Arab Emirates.

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