Former captain Shahid Afridi will appear in an internal disciplinary hearing at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters today after he withdrew his petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC). The withdrawal, which ended his legal battle with the PCB, means that the board will continue its proceedings that were earlier stayed by the court.
The development comes after Afridi met the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt in Islamabad on Tuesday to resolve the dispute that started with the removal of the 31-year-old from Pakistan’s limited-overs captaincy. Afridi announced his retirement following that on the condition that the current PCB setup be changed but had his central contract suspended and NOC revoked by the PCB.
The all-rounder, whose county stint with Hampshire was put in doubt after the PCB sanctions, also faced an internal PCB disciplinary committee and filed a petition in the SHC in response. The SHC stayed the internal PCB proceedings against Afridi before deferring the case. However, a meeting with Butt, where Afridi agreed to withdraw the petition, has seen the end of the legal battle.
His lawyer Mehmood Mandviwala confirmed the development.
“We have withdrawn the petition,” Mandviwala told reporters here at the SHC yesterday. “We want an amicable solution but we were forced to go to court. We hope Afridi gets the NOC for overseas events.”
Afridi to face disciplinary committee today
The end of the court case, however, does not mean that Afridi’s NOCs are reinstated immediately — the primary reason the all-rounder filed a petition in the SHC. The former captain will face the PCB’s disciplinary committee today in order to get clearance for the foreign leagues.
“The case still stands where it was before Afridi filed the petition,” a PCB official told The Express Tribune. “Afridi will have to appear before the disciplinary committee to get clearance.”
Another official said the board will pass its judgment soon. “The disciplinary committee will give its decision about Afridi’s NOCs soon so that he can join Hampshire.”
The official added Afridi is likely to suffer a fine after seeking an apology. The board named Sultan Rana (director domestic cricket), Shafiq Ahmed (general manager domestic cricket) and Usman Wahla (manager international cricket) in the panel to hear Afridi’s case. Officials close to Afridi have also said that it was unlikely that he will reverse his retirement in the future.
“I won’t play for Pakistan under the current PCB setup. Self-respect is something I hold in high esteem and this board has done nothing but downgraded me. I’ve had enough of this and took this decision after careful consideration.”
“Ninety per cent of the things that Afridi’s said are wrong. He never requested a meeting. If he wants to take out rallies, he should join politics. If he doesn’t want to attend the disciplinary hearing, the committee will make an ex parte decision.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2011.
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