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Asia Cup 2022: #BanAsifAli trends after Pakistan batter almost hits Afghanistan's Fareed Ahmed with the bat

Pakistan batter Asif Ali and Afghanistan bowler Fareed Ahmad were involved in a heated altercation during the two nations’ thrilling Super 4 clash in Asia Cup 2022 in Sharjah on Wednesday.

Asia Cup 2022: #BanAsifAli trends after Pakistan batter almost hits Afghanistan's Fareed Ahmed with the bat snt
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First Published Sep 8, 2022, 12:43 PM IST

A furious argument broke out between Pakistan batter Asif Ali and Afghanistan bowler Fareed Ahmad during the two countries' gripping Super 4 match on Wednesday at the Asia Cup 2022 in Sharjah.

In the 19th over of the high-octane clash, Asif was dismissed by Fareed immediately after smashing him for a six. After clinching the crucial wicket, the Afghan bowler celebrated animatedly right in front of Asif, who in return pushed Fareed back. When the bowler countered, the Pakistani batter almost hit him with the bat before the other Afghanistan players intervened to calm the situation on the ground.

Following this spat, Naseem Shah struck two telling sixes in the final over as Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by one wicket in a tense encounter that resulted in India getting knocked out of the tournament.

Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan, who top scored with 36 runs, played down the on-field altercation, saying it happened 'in the heat of the moment' and was best left on the field. Meanwhile, Afghanistan skipper who was fielding in the deep stated that he had no clue what happened in the middle.

Also read: Asia Cup 2022: India knocked out as Pakistan tames Afghanistan; Men in Blue supporters heartbroken

However, the incident sparked violence among fans in the stand, with certain videos on social media showing fans using stadium seats to beat each other up.

Former chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), Shafiq Stanikzai, lashed out at Asif Ali for his actions and stated that the Pakistan batter's reaction was nothing but 'stupidity'. Stanikzai also demanded that Asif should be banned from the rest of the ongoing championship.

“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," Stanikzai wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, legendary Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar came out in defence of his team and stated that Afghanistan lost the match due to their ‘arrogant’ behaviour.

“Afghan players put right back into their place by 19 year old kid Naseem Shah. Unforgettable match against people we have loved & supported always. Lekin bat tamizi aur arrogance nay un no foran neecha dikhaya,” Shoaib Akhtar wrote.

Afghanistan was firmly in control of the match till the last over, reducing Pakistan to 118 for nine. But, Naseem had other plans as he hit Fazalhaq Farooqi for two consecutive sixes to send both Afghanistan and India out of the reckoning for a final berth. 

With two wins from as many games, both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have sealed their places in the tournament's final to be held on Sunday. India and Afghanistan will lock horns in their final Super 4 match on Thursday, which has been rendered inconsequential.

Also read: Asia Cup 2022, IND vs AFG: Can Afghanistan be a pain in the back for India?

Meanwhile, #BanAsifAli has been trending on Twitter since the incident occurred, with some users also coming in support of the Pakistan batter stating it was Fareed Ahmad who provoked him. Here's a look at some of the reactions on the micro-blogging site:

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