‘Players should control their aggression’

Friday, May 25, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistani players have been asked to control their aggression following a warning handed out to the team’s vice-captain Mohammad Asif during the one-day series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.

Team manager Talat Ali told this correspondent on Thursday that Asif and all his teammates have been told to mind their conduct on and off the field because they are Pakistan’s ambassador

.“All the players know that there is an ICC Code of Conduct, we have just
reminded them that it exists,”

Talat said.

“Our players are all mostly well-behaved and disciplined but even such minor
incident like a warning for Asif can and should be avoided in the future,”

added the former Test cricketer.

Asif received an official reprimand for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during his Pakistan’s second ODI against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The offence related to the medium pacer’s reaction when he dismissed Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene. Asif was found guilty of conduct contrary to the spirit of the game by ICC match referee Javagal Srinath. The charge was laid by on-field umpires Russell Tiffin and Suresh Shastri and third official Mark Benson.

Talat said that Asif committed the offence in the heat of the moment and meant no harm.

“It was a case of a fast bowler getting a bit too aggressive,”

he said.

“Jayawardene didn’t even protest. It were the umpires who reported the incident
to the match referee,”

he added.

Talat said that an aggressive approach is helpful for players but was quick to add that they should be aware of their limits.

“I believe the best show of aggression from a bowler is a wicket-taking delivery
and Asif knows that art,”

he remarked.

Asif is currently Pakistan’s key bowler in the absence of pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar. The pacer was rewarded for a spate of impressive performances, in 2006 and during the tour of South Africa this year, earlier this month when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed him as the vice-captain for the three-match series against Sri Lanka played in Abu Dhabi from May 18-22.

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