Minister apologizes to Afridi over fixing remarks

Pakistan's captain Shahid Afridi, left, and Abdur Rehman attend a training session in Mohali, India, Monday, March 28, 2011. Pakistan will play India in a Cricket World Cup semifinal in Mohali on March 30. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Pakistan's captain Shahid Afridi, left, and Abdur Rehman attend a training session in Mohali, India, Monday, March 28, 2011. Pakistan will play India in a Cricket World Cup semifinal in Mohali on March 30.

Pakistan's interior minister has apologized to the country's cricket team after saying he was keeping a "close watch" on them ahead of Wednesday's World Cup semifinal against India.

Rehman Malik said Monday he had warned the team "there should be no match fixing" and that the players were being closely monitored.

Team captain Shahid Afridi confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that Malik had telephoned him to apologize for his remarks, which came just two days before the clash between the two archrivals.

Afridi said he did not want to comment further.