Former Pakistani cricket captain Wasim Akram has blamed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as well as retired all-rounder Shahid Afridi for the current stand-off between the two parties and the mess that Pakistan cricket has once again found itself in.
Akram felt that Afridi’s removal as captain was an unjustified move and the PCB failed to give any reason for the decision at that time.
“Both parties are to be blamed for creating such a difficult situation,” he said. “I think the board was unjustified in removing him after he had done so well by leading a lowly-ranked team into the World Cup semi-finals.
“If there were disciplinary reasons for his sacking, they should’ve have made them public then. Now they’ve stopped him from playing county cricket, a clear below-the-belt hit.”
At the same time, Akram did have a few harsh words for the flamboyant Afridi as well.
“He shouldn’t have spoken out in the media about the problems that he was facing within the team because that violated his contract. He should’ve approached the PCB first and if the board had failed to help him, he could’ve gone to the media.
“His habit of continuously speaking out has done him a lot of harm. He should just keep quiet and try and sort out the differences with the PCB.”
Meanwhile, Akram also doubted the transparency of the three-man disciplinary committee that has been formed by the board and if its members would go against the will of PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt. There were also words of advice for Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s coach who reportedly annoyed Afridi with his ‘too much interference’, when Akram also advised him to follow the example of former India coach Gary Kirsten who took them to the final of the World Cup.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2011.