I never demanded Laxman's removal: Afridi

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/a/afridiipl.jpg' class='caption'> Shahid Afridi sought to clarify that he never demanded removal of Deccan Chargers' captain VVS Laxman.

Updated: October 06, 2008 10:14 IST
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Pakistani all rounder Shahid Afridi on Friday sought to clarify that he never demanded removal of Deccan Chargers' captain VVS Laxman and claimed his remarks that the Indian was not suitable for Twenty20 version was quoted out of context in the media.

"Tim Wright, the new Chief Executive of the (Deccan Chargers) team, spoke to me about the incident and about the ongoing inquiry. I told him that I had not made any demands for Laxman's removal. I told him some of my quotes were taken out of context," Afridi said.

"They also went through the audio tapes of the interview in which I spoke on the IPL and Chargers' team performances. I explained to Tim Wright that I had a lot of respect for Laxman and the team management and that I was misunderstood," he said.

The two players were involved in a war of words after the Afridi advised Laxman to show more aggression in his captaincy and approach to Twenty20 cricket and also rooted for Adam Gilchrist as captain of the Deccan Chargers team, which finished at the bottom with just two wins out of 14 matches in the inaugural IPL season.

The Chargers management last week dropped Laxman and coach Robin Singh replacing them with Gilchrist and Darren Lehmann in an apparent bid to improve their team's show in the next season.

Afridi confirmed that he had been conveyed the inquiry into his issue with Laxman was over now.

The flamboyant allrounder, who himself didn't click with the bat in the inaugural season, said he had now been told the matter was closed and he should start concentrating on how to improve the team's performance in the next season.

"I hope this issue is now finished and I wish Laxman the best of luck against Australia," Afridi.

Choosing his words carefully, the experienced allrounder declined to comment on the changes in the team management and said whatever decisions had been taken would hopefully bear positive results.

"We have to perform as a team to give positive results and we will hopefully do that next season. I myself want to improve my performances and contribute more as a senior player," he added.

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