Islamabad, May 13 : The Pakistan Cricket Board should grant reprieve to limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi over his statement against team coach Waqar Younus, a former PCB Chief Executive Officer has said.
The PCB regarded Afridi''s statements blaming coach Waqar of interfering in his work as a violation of its code of conduct, and hinted action after the Caribbean tour report.
Blistering differences between Waqar and Afridi had not developed during the recent Caribbean tour, in fact both were on a collision course even during the ICC World Cup 2011, Ex-PCB CEO Colonel (retired) Rafi Nasim wrote in the Daily Times.
The issue, if leaked out, would have caused tremendous shame to the Pakistan team, he said, adding that Afridi “very wisely tolerated all the taunts, gimmicks and shouts, at times agreeing and at times not agreeing with the coach.”
“He [Afridi], however, remained absolutely firm in his conduct as captain preventing the gang of officials from making undue interference into the affairs of the team,” Nasim added.
As the Caribbean tour approached, the former PCB official said, Afridi’s relationship with Waqar became “extremely bitter”, and the ODI skipper initially declined to accompany the team to West Indies ‘for personal reasons’.
“Some of his well wishers, however, advised him not to leave the team after doing so well in a great event like the World Cup. He changed his decision and accompanied the team,” he added.
The team performed as successfully as planned. Pakistan won the three ODIs in a row, winning the series, while the fourth one became the joint victim of rain and the Lewis-Duckworth rules, said Nasim.
“The fifth and last ODI was gifted to the hosts consequent to a serious altercation between the two officials, the bone of contention being the dropping of in form player Asad Shafiq by the coach,” he added.
Nasim said that the major bone of contention between Waqar and Afridi was the coach’s authoritative attitude in selection matters. During the West Indies tour while Afridi wanted to give ample chance to the new players considering that ‘they were not on tour for a joy ride’ while Waqar kept on resisting and playing the tried and tested old hags, he added.
While Waqar has stayed back with the Test team to complete the tour, Afridi returned to Pakistan following the end of the five-match ODI series.
“Immediately on arrival, Afridi made a press statement criticising coach Waqar for interfering in the team selection. He also touched upon the differences that existed within the team management. The PCB immediately reacted to the statement as a violation of the code of conduct and issued a show cause notice to Afridi to which he has submitted a reply,” Nasim stated.
It is quite likely that the matter will be decided on Waqar’s return, but there are two schools of thought, he noted.
“Some sources indicate that PCB chief Ijaz Butt is not happy with Afridi’s performance as well as attitude to go public about the team affairs. There may thus be a chance of his losing the ‘limited over matches captaincy’,” Nasim said.
“Afridi having turned into a legend, I think it would be too big a punishment for an issue which could be easily sorted out by the team’s management headed by a seasoned manager like Intikhab Alam. The other suggestion that he should be set free with a reprieve appears reasonable,” the former PCB official added. (ANI)
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