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Governance of international cricket requires much broader skills than ability with ball and willow. But nobody bought a match ticket or sports subscription in the hope seeing an administrator make a well considered decision. Only 6% of a sample of international cricketers believes that the ICC board makes decisions in the best interests of the sport. That is a damning statistic. What's more, a clear majority believe that decision-making is unfairly influenced by the BCCI.
India, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe cricketers don't belong to the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, the organisation that conducted the survey, but Pakistan players, at the very least, might have plenty to say about the governance of their own cricket boards even before they got to the topic of the ICC.
Unfortunately, Pakistan cricketers are not allowed to speak, tweet, or think any criticism of their cricket board for fear of their livelihoods. The people who fill the coffers of the cricket board have become slaves to central contracts and must beg and borrow any favour.
Shahid Afridi might not be the most rational fellow, or the greatest captain or player in Pakistan's history, but he is an asset to Pakistan cricket, a fact that the cricket board itself has acknowledged. But by challenging the board about his treatment, refusing to play under its current administration, and offering some robust critique of the way the board is run, Afridi has unleashed the full spiteful force of the PCB.
Pakistan's recently celebrated World Cup captain faces charges of breaching the code of conduct and is being denied the right to play cricket in England - censures that carry the clumsy hallmark of Pakistan's board chairman, Ijaz Butt.
It is hard to believe that Afridi is motivated by some high-minded principle but his stance echoes the frustration of the majority of Pakistan cricket lovers: the regime of Ijaz Butt has done immeasurable damage to Pakistan cricket, all other hardships aside, and driven it to the point of collapse. Afridi's call for regime change at the Gaddafi Stadium chimes with the resentment that supporters of Pakistan cricket feel towards the current board and the chairman in particular.
The board's decision to revoke its permission for Afridi's participation in the English Twenty20 tournament is an abuse of power. It demonstrates a nasty, vindictive streak in the Gaddafi Stadium regime that has already harmed Younis Khan. The message that Butt is keen to send out is that if you mess with me, with whatever justification, I will stop you playing and kill off your career. What hope for Pakistan cricket when such a man runs the board like a dictator? What hope for Pakistan when this man is allowed to run such an important national institution?
Pakistan cricket is depleted of enough resources without the premature retirement of its leading one-day bowler. Shahid Afridi is impetuous, misguided, and certainly no saint. But it is the devilish Butt whose departure would bring the greatest benefit to Pakistan cricket. He has governed the board during the calamitous attack on Sri Lanka cricketers, the spot-fixing crisis, and the decimation of the national team, and yet he survives to torture us further. If Afridi's 'retirement' can hasten Butt's demise, then it will have served a critical purpose.
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets hereFeeds: Kamran Abbasi
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi