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May 9, 2011
Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's limited overs captain, has landed himself in administrative hot water once again, as the PCB has hauled him up for comments he made on Sunday after returning to Pakistan from the Caribbean.
Afridi all but confirmed to reporters that there had been differences between him and the team management over selection issues during the five-match ODI series that Pakistan won 3-2. Though he didn't take anyone's name specifically, it was coach Waqar Younis he was referring to, growing differences between the pair now a fact which PCB officials confirmed to ESPNcricinfo on Sunday.
The board has now taken exception to the statement Afridi made and has served him a notice to explain to the board what he has said. In a statement issued Monday, the PCB said they had "taken notice of the statements made by Mr Shahid Afridi in the media about the differences within the tour management in West Indies.
"It is a violation of Code of Conduct on part of Mr Afridi and an explanation has been sought from him for the reasons to make such statements publicly. PCB will take appropriate action after submission of the tour-report at the conclusion of the tour."
The issue of Afridi's often straight-talking public statements has been an ongoing one since he first took over the captaincy of the Twenty20 side in 2009. Matters came to a head late last year when his ODI captaincy was on the line because a number of players in the side were unhappy with his public criticisms of their performances. Misbah-ul-Haq was a contender to take over until finally, just two weeks before the World Cup, the PCB decided to stick with Afridi, having told him to be careful over what he says in public.
In any case, Afridi is due to meet with the board chairman Ijaz Butt at some point in the coming week, about the developments on tour and in particular the problems he had with the coach.
Although captain and coach worked well together during the World Cup, tensions between the two have been apparent for some time, in particular over the issue of team selection. Afridi feels, as captain and ultimate responsibility for on-field performances, he should have the final say. Waqar, however, feels a coach should also have an input and it is the degrees of control on each side that has become problematic.
It led Afridi to say on Sunday, "Although the differences in team management are not such which could not be solved, I feel everyone should do his job and need not interfere in other's work."
The slow-developing controversy has also drawn in Mohsin Khan, the chief selector, who last week was on the verge of resigning, because he was unhappy with selections for Pakistan's Test squad for the West Indies. Khan alluded to differences - though he never specified with whom - in selection. That matter, after a meeting with Butt, was eventually resolved.
Pakistan are to play two Tests against West Indies, the first of which begins on May 12.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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