Reluctant to let go of his lucrative Hampshire deal, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has decided to take on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) with his legal firm as the all-rounder explores every possible option to revive his No Objection Certificate (NOC) and feature for the county as well as the Sri Lanka Premier League.
Following his retirement and the harsh words against the PCB, the board suspended his central contract and revoked all NOCs issued to him which meant the all-rounder was unable to represent Hampshire in the Twenty20 competition.
Letter stumps the PCB
The letter sent to the PCB, however, caused slight confusion within the premises as it spoke about Afridi’s contribution to the country and the PCB and requested them to clear the NOC-related obstruction the all-rounder is facing with regards to his career.
“We thought of it as a legal notice but given the content, it seems more like a plea to let Afridi start his county stint,” a PCB spokesperson told The Express Tribune. “I’m not a legal expert but I didn’t find any legal stuff in the letter either addressing or arguing against the breaches that he made against the code of conduct.”
The letter termed PCB’s act ‘illegal’ and urged the board to renew it while vowing to reply to the show-cause notice handed out to the former captain, adding that this was merely a gesture of goodwill. It further stated that Afridi followed the correct procedure, as per his central contract, while applying for the NOC to appear for Hampshire after which it was formally granted.
‘Attempt to tarnish Afridi’s image’
“The show-cause is an attempt to tarnish the image of the seasoned all-rounder who is a patriotic, respected and honourable cricketer of Pakistan,” read the letter. “It is sad to note that the abrupt cancellation of the NOC and the suspension of central contract is a bid to deprive Afridi of his lawful financial income.”
The PCB, meanwhile, referred the letter to the disciplinary committee that was formed on Thursday to look into the matter and will be conducting a hearing into this case on Wednesday.
PCB holds off political intervention
Meanwhile, as the PCB-Afridi dispute brews up, it reached the political forum as the PCB chairman is reportedly being pushed from various corners to let Afridi off.
However, standing firm in his stance, Ijaz Butt has confirmed that the former captain will have to face the disciplinary committee and had held off all intervention.
The problems arose when Afridi was removed as the One-Day International captain for the series against Ireland. This was reportedly as punishment for him lashing out against the team management, notably coach Waqar Younis, for interfering too much in his matters as well as team selection.
Afridi tried meeting the PCB chairman to discuss the issues but was snubbed. Subsequently, the former captain announced his retirement from international cricket after he arrived in England as he vowed never to play under the current setup.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2011.