Afridi to get NOC for Hampshire
The Pakistan Cricket Board has agreed to allow sacked One-day captain Shahid Afridi to play for English county side Hampshire after he agreed to withdraw his case against the PCB in the Sindh high court.
According to well-informed sources, the Board will grant an NOC to Afridi to join Hampshire by next week after he met chairman Ijaz Butt in the presence of a government official in Islamabad on Tuesday.
"The meeting has had some positive outcome, and for Afridi the good news is that he can go and play for Hampshire as long as he withdraws his case and also appears before the disciplinary committee of the board," a source said.
Image: Shahid Afridi
Afridi withdraws case against PCB
Pakistan's sacked national ODI captain Shahid Afridi has withdrawn his case against the Pakistan Cricket Board from the Sindh High Court as part of an apparent deal with the board to resolve his ongoing dispute with them.
Afridi's legal counsel Mahmood Mandviwalla appeared on behalf of the all-rounder before a two-member bench of the High Court on Wednesday and withdraw the petition filed by Afridi against the board and its disciplinary proceedings against him.
"The bench after hearing us out allowed us to withdraw our petition. We are hopeful that Afridi will get a just solution from the board to his grievances," Mandviwalla told reporters on the court premises.
The withdrawal by Afridi of his petition comes a day after he met PCB chairman Ijaz Butt in Islamabad in the presence of an influential government personality and the two discussed the ongoing dispute.
Mandviwalla also confirmed that Afridi will appear before the disciplinary committee likely on Thursday.
"We didn't want to move court but were forced. Now, I hope Afridi will get the NOC (no-objection certificate) and will be able to play in England and Sri Lanka," he added.
Afridi's manager Umran Khan also confirmed to BBC radio that the meeting went very well and both parties had come to an amicable agreement to end the dispute between them.
He added that he had spoken to Hampshire manager Giles White and "they're very pleased that it's all sorted out".
Image: Ijaz Butt
'Everybody was gunning for Akhtar's head'
Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar could have played a lot more for his country despite his fitness woes, "if he did not have everybody going after him," Dr Tauseef Ahmed, who was appointed as a training and rehabilitation consultant by the PCB for a period of five years around 1999, has said.
Akhtar's fitness woes are well documented, however, Dr Ahmed felt that the injuries he suffered were preventable with proper management.
"He could have played a lot more if he didn't have everybody going after him. I'll say that if I had been allowed to work with Shoaib, his career could have been longer. He wouldn't have missed those critical 2-3 years that he did. When Shehryar Khan brought in Bob Woolmer as the coach it was made clear that I would be kept away from Shoaib," PakPassion.net quoted Dr. Ahmed, as saying.
"Shabbir was also mishandled by them. I knew he would be called for chucking if he went with the team on the West Indies tour. He was sent before he was rehabbed and ended up being reported for a suspect action. His career was done after that," he added.
Image: Shoaib Akhtar
'Both Afridi, PCB responsible for current situation'
Expressing his concern over the latest controversy that has damaged the image of Pakistan cricket, legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas has said that the both the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as well as former captain Shahid Afridi had committed mistakes to blow things out of proportion.
Following Afridi's sudden retirement and his harsh words against the PCB in the wake of his removal as Pakistan ODI skipper, the PCB had suspended his central contract and revoked all No Objection Certificates (NOCs) issued to him.
On the other hand, Afridi filed a petition in the Sindh High Court against sanctions imposed on him by the PCB, and appealed for a stay order against the punishments against him.
"Some are saying Afridi is right and some others are saying PCB is right. Frankly, both are wrong. When Afridi made a few mistakes the board did not do anything and let him go. So, Afridi went on pushing his luck," Gulf News quoted Abbas, as saying.
"If the board had strictly enforced the rule during his very first mistake, the whole incident would not have happened," he added.
Image: Shahid Afridi