The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Shahid Afridi's showdown ended after a disciplinary hearing, held yesterday, fined the former captain Rs4.5 million and reinstated the NOC that allows him to play in foreign leagues.
Afridi, who pleaded guilty on charges of breaching the PCB's code of conduct and regretted his actions, escaped a possible ban due to his retirement from international cricket. The all-rounder appeared before the PCB's internal hearing after he met with the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt and withdrew a petition – against sanctions imposed by the board – in the Sindh High Court.
The PCB had revoked his NOC to participate in foreign leagues and suspended his central contract after he announced his retirement that was conditioned on the removal of the current PCB set-up.
Following the sanctions, Afridi filed a petition and had a stay issued on the board's internal hearing.
But after meeting the chairman, Afridi withdrew his petition and agreed to appear before the hearing.
After a five-hour long hearing, Afridi pleaded guilty and accepted the fine, confirmed the PCB's legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi.
"Afridi regretted the matter and said he will not contest the charges," Rizvi told reporters. "He explained his conduct for which he was suspended from the contract. The committee unanimously decided to fine him Rs4.5 million for various breaches of the central contract and the code of conduct.
"And since Afridi has accepted the penalty his NOC to play for Hampshire has been reinstated."
Afridi welcomes decision
The all-rounder, who accepted the verdict, was a visibly happy man at the outcome of the dispute.
"The dispute had damaged a lot," said Afridi. "I conveyed all the reasons and circumstances that led to my dispute and everything went nicely and amicably.
"I accept the penalty and I am happy that my NOC has been reinstated. As far as my retirement is concerned, I am in no mood to play international cricket right now."
Afridi not sorry for mistakes
Afridi, who retired in protest after he was removed from the One-Day International captaincy, admitted his mistakes but added that circumstances forced him to make those decisions. "I admit I have made mistakes but I am not sorry for them because the circumstances forced me," said Afridi after the first session of the meeting.
The all-rounder did not contest the suspension of his contract and had a one-point agenda — to have his NOC reinstated to play for Hampshire.
He confirmed that he is not available for Pakistan and he was there to take back his NOC.
"He only contested for the revoked NOC," said Director Domestic Cricket Sultan Rana and a member of the panel that heard Afridi's case.
"His central contract that was suspended still stands and assuming his retirement from international cricket we did not have to mull over a ban option."
"I admit I have made mistakes but I am not sorry for them because the circumstances forced me. I accept the penalty and I am happy my NOC has been reinstated. As far as my retirement goes, I am in no mood to play international cricket right now."
"He only contested for the reinstatement of his NOC so he could play in the English county season. His central contract suspension still stands and assuming his retirement from international cricket we did not mull over a ban option."
Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2011.
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