Pakistan news May 31, 2011

PCB suspends Afridi contract

The PCB has responded to Shahid Afridi's retirement by suspending his central contract and putting together a showcause notice detailing several breaches of the code of conduct, which he will be expected to respond to within a week.

Announcing his retirement to a TV channel, the board said in a press release, was in itself a breach of Clause 2.1.4 of the Central Contract dealing with Covenants of the Cricketer.

Afridi's criticism of the board officials in the same interview to Geo TV also constituted a breach. "In passing disparaging remarks about the board and its officials, Shahid Afridi is in breach of Clause 4.4 dealing with Media obligations.

"A showcause notice has been issued to him seeking his explanation on these comments. Afridi has been asked to respond to the letter within seven days. His Central Contract has been suspended with immediate effect. Consequently, all NOCs granted to him have been revoked. All payments on account of Central Contract have been suspended."

A day after Afridi's outburst against the administration on TV, and his decision to not play international cricket under this board, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said he was "disappointed" by the remarks and that the "retirement" was not an issue at all.

"It was disappointing to hear what he said," Butt told ESPNcricinfo, "and it wasn't correct or true. It was wrong of him to do that. If he doesn't want to play under this administration, then he's welcome. We've detailed several instances where he has breached the code of conduct and will issue a showcause notice to him, which he has seven days to respond to."

Senior board officials spent much of the day in a budget meeting, but the issue of Afridi was a live one throughout. The board took legal advice before acting on the suspension of the contract, as well as the withdrawal of the NOCs given to him for a T20 stint with Hampshire, and one for his participation in the upcoming Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL).

Afridi was sent a separate showcause notice earlier this month for comments he made on his return to Pakistan from the Caribbean about the team management, remarks which landed him in trouble in the first place. Disciplinary action, if any, is pending on that notice as well.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo