KARACHI Ball-tampering may be an illegal act in cricket but when it was resorted to in the last ODI against Australia in Perth the other day, it was an act of desperation from a person who was under stress after a series of losses and wanted to start his career as captain on a winning note. Ball tampering from Pakistans standby captain Shahid Afridi should not be seen only from moral and cricketing angle but also from psychological point view of a team over-stressed by a series of defeats in Test and ODI series wishing to break that losing run only to save its name and honour back at home, said former international athlete Muhammad Talib who had been involved in training of national hockey, cricket, football and boxing teams in the past. 0 With over four decades of experience at national and international level, Talib, who is currently involved as physical trainer of the KPT team, talking to TheNation here Monday said what Shahid Afridi did was nothing unusual, any other person in his place would have done similar thing given long stretch of sustained stress the team was experiencing for the last one and half months during its tour of New Zealand and particularly in Australia. Afridi, whose name has been associated with success, at one stage of the Perth ODI sensed that Pakistan had a chance to win and that brought him to a point where he felt any means would be applied to win. This was not the first time that a player had done what he did at international level. There are a number of incidents when famous players had committed illegal acts to win a game, he said. Bodyline controversy in cricket in Australia in 30s, athletes taking banned substances, Diego Maradona of Argentinas Hand-of-God goal or Henry Thierrys hand-ball goal for France, to name a few incidents, were all illegal acts but were resorted to only because those who were involved in it desperately wanted to gain good results. Lack of counseling with the team by the management under stressful circumstances sometimes results in an illegal act, he said. The episode at Perth could have been avoided if the players were given constant counseling by the team management. As each player of Pakistan team was criticised, stress level of team members would have gone high to a breaking point. Sound and reasonable counseling would have brought the mental stress down and helped the team handle the situation with reasons. But it seemed that it was not done and it resulted in an act of desperation, he added. Afridis act could not be condoned but it could be explained as to why a player had acted in a particular manner. In modern teams, psychological counseling plays a crucial role in energising the players in stress. There is a thing called 'competition fever and it happed when the team was under pressure for variety of reasons. He said about two decades ago, a similar thing happed to Karachi 400 meters runners Mahboob Dawood who felt that winning against a strong field of runners from Army before 1982 New Delhi Asian games would be impossible and he developed slight temperature on the eve of the race. However, proper counseling helped the athlete to recover from his imaginary fear. He ran the best race of his career to win. There were a number of examples at national and international level that could be given to prove that team and individual players needed psychological treatment or counseling to improve their performances and behaviour, he concluded.