Pakistan’s captain Sarfraz Ahmed has accepted a request from his Australian counterpart Tim Paine to shake hands before the start of the first Test in Dubai on Sunday..
Paine signaled a new era for Australia cricket by getting his players to shake hands with the South Africans ahead of the fourth and final Test at Johannesburg. The first step towards improving Australia’s public image following the ignominy of the ball-tampering saga.
The ball-tampering saga, famous as sandpaper gate relating to the use of sandpaper by Australian opener Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the ball in the Cape Town Test in March this year.
The ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the sport with the then captain Steve Smith, David Warner banned for a year while Bancroft got a nine month punishment.
Paine, the new skipper suggested the gesture hoping to ease tension between the two teams with handshake, an idea Paine said had opened up on how football had inspired his actions.
Paine continued it before the first ODI against England in June and requested Sarfraz to continue with that.
“Yes, before the press conference Paine came to me and asked for the handshake and I agreed as this is good for cricket and we are ready to do good things for cricket,” said Sarfraz.
The handshake will also remove some bitterness which created between Pakistan and Australian players in July’s Twenty20 tri-series in Zimbabwe when Glen Maxwell refused to shake hands with Sarfraz after Pakistan won the final.