Appoint a disciplinary committee of independent people
Pakistan's sacked captain Shahid Afridi is not likely not attend the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) disciplinary hearing on charges of violating the code of conduct, his lawyer said on Monday.
Claiming that it would be useless to attend the hearing of the PCB on June 8 without the due process of law first being followed by the board, Afridi's lawyer Ali Zafar told a news conference, "We are not satisfied with the process adopted by the board to hear out the charges against our client.
"We have written to the board raising questions about the process being followed by the board. Our client has already been penalised without getting a fair chance to plead his case and explain his position."
Afridi has also called on the board to appoint a disciplinary committee of independent people instead of appointing their own employees on the commission.
Image: Shahid Afridi
'No charges have been proven against me yet'
Stating that it appeared as if the PCB had made up its mind on his case, Afridi said, "No charges have been proven against me yet and they have cancelled my NOCs and also suspended my contract."
A large number of supporters showed up at the Karachi Press Club, raising slogans in favour of Afridi as the retired cricketer addressed the crowded conference with his legal team.
Zafar said that the PCB was a government organisation and had to follow procedures laid down in government manuals.
"We don't understand what process they are following. We have written to them but if this same process is followed I don't think we will attend the hearing. If our client is not given justice we have other alternatives open to us like going to the courts," he said.
Zafar also noted that the board had illegally cancelled Afridi's NOCs and suspended his central contract without hearing him out first.
Image: Shahid Afridi
'I didn't like the way they removed me as captain'
The PCB after initially refusing permission to the lawyers to attend the hearing today, changed its mind but Zafar said they had received no information on this as yet from the board.
Afridi and his legal team went to great extent to clear that they didn't want a confrontation with the PCB and expected the Board to give a responsible response to their concerns about the entire process of law.
"Look I am not a politician, I am a cricketer and I want to play cricket. But I don't think I can play in the existing circumstances," Afridi said.
He said an independent tribunal made up of people from outside the board should be formed to decide who is right or wrong in this dispute.
The board has summoned Afridi for a hearing on Wednesday to hear the charges of breaching the PCB's code of conduct by abruptly announcing his retirement from international cricket last week and making disparaging comments about board officials.
The flamboyant allrounder, who was abruptly removed as captain for the One-day series against Ireland last month, said he wanted the authorities to treat players with respect.
"I didn't like the way they removed me as captain without even informing me on telephone or giving any reasoning. I learnt about it through the media. That is why I also announced my retirement in the media," he said.
Image: Shahid Afridi
Board needs to respect players
Afridi said he was forced to take his decision because of the way the board was treating the players.
"Captaincy is not the issue for me at all. I am ready to play even under junior players like Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal. But the Board needs to respect players. There is definitely a need to form a players association now.
"I have played 14 years for Pakistan with respect and I want to retire gracefully. But I am fighting this case because I feel in existing circumstances no player is able to fully focus on his main task of playing cricket," he said.
The 31-year-old also insisted that they were no major disputes with the coach or manager in the team.
"These issues can be sorted out through discussions. But the board didn't bother to hear my side of the story and removed me as captain, which is not fair."
Image: Shahid Afridi and Ejaz Butt