Pakistan news May 27, 2011

Ijaz Butt defends sacking of Afridi

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, has said that there were "solid reasons" for the removal of Shahid Afridi as ODI captain but that he will reveal those reasons at a later date.

Afridi was replaced by Misbah-ul-Haq last week, after leading Pakistan in back-to-back ODI series against New Zealand and West Indies, and to a last-four finish in the World Cup. The board has not given an official reason for the removal, though it is believed to be the result of growing differences Afridi had with coach Waqar Younis, in particular over matters of selection.

On his return from the Caribbean, Afridi referred to the situation with Waqar, saying, "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". That led to the board issuing him a showcause notice to explain his remarks, and presumably formed part of the reasons for his removal. Subsequently Afridi decided to pull out of the two ODIs against Ireland; speculation has been that he is unhappy over his removal but he has said it is because his father is unwell.

Removing Afridi meant that Butt has now presided over nine changes in the Test and ODI captaincy during his tenure as chairman, a period of less than three years. But Butt insisted in an interview with the leading Urdu daily Jang that he was justified in making the change.

"We had very solid reasons to remove Afridi and I will reveal them when the time is right," Butt said. "We haven't taken this action without any reasons."

Butt did indicate that there had been a breach of discipline on Afridi's part, though it is not yet clear whether he was referring to the comments Afridi made on his return, or to separate incidents on tour. Tensions between Waqar and Afridi are reported to have risen considerably in some team selection meetings, with Intikhab Alam, the team manager, having to play peace broker.

The on-tour management's report has been handed in to the board, according to Butt, and details will emerge after the team returns from Ireland, when the board will also deal with the issue of Afridi's showcause notice. "We know Afridi won two series and that is why we didn't act then [during the tour]. We couldn't do anything more during that tour. Right now anything more I say will cause more tensions. Everything will come to light soon."

Meanwhile, Waqar refused to speculate on Afridi's future role within the side. "I have got no idea about that," Waqar said. "It is the board's decision what they want to do about the captaincy. My job is to look after the team and to deliver the goods."

Waqar also denied reports he had fallen out with Afridi. "It was the papers that made all this," he said. "There is nothing in it."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alexaus on May 30, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Butt should be fired from PCB. Because of this stupid PK cricket is going to the hell.

  • Naeem on May 30, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    wht u doing Mr Butt shahid Afridi Announced him retirement .

  • irfan on May 29, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    I really amazed the work that Mr. Butt is doing. I mean he is determined to destory cricket in pakistan. I dont know when he will understand that he has done enough damage to the nation. and please leave pak cricket for good and forever.

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    reasonable ijab butt.......hahahahaha

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    @likeincricket - It's not an appropriate time to talk about Tendulkar. Yes, I know he's an average captain, but you can't blame him for the team's failure. Individuals like Pollard, Rohit, Symonds failed, hence the team. He shouldn't be blamed for his team's defeat this time. Last year, yes. He kept red-hot Pollard for too late in the final. This year, Pollard was in a miserable form. Considering Pakistan, what could be a "solid reason" to sack Afridi, a man who built a team out of scratch and got them to the WC semi-finals. Where they lost only because India's brilliant middle-overs bowling, batsmen's obnoxious shot selection and strange cricket. Yeah, Ijaz Butt can think of "solid reason" till the "time is right." Boy, I bet they can make a team called "sacked Pakistani captains XI" and it would be better than the current team minus the sacked captains, of course.

  • Senthil on May 29, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    For a long time I had been thinking Afridi should be made captain of Pakistan. I was pretty thrilled when that came true, and sure enough, he gave us all some memorable moments in his own style. Throughout the WC, he showed character and determination, and hardly ever put a foot wrong. It was just great to see and it looked like Pakistan cricket was turning a new leaf. We in India wanted India to win of course, but we watched all the Pakistan games with interest, because finally, with Afridi as captain, Pakistan were playing SOLID cricket! Solid and Pakistan? You've got us hooked, Shahid! Now, what is this Butt guy doing? Giving totally gaseous statements like solid reasons! Please.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Its simple 9 captains in 3 years, you can't blame them all. Someone in management needs to step-up and take some responsibility.... Oh wait this is Pakistan where they run the PCB like they run the country, mediocre people who can't even run a 7-Eleven are in charge.

  • Tom on May 28, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    Just Look at Tendulkar, he is the greatest player ever but when it comes to the captaincy he is very average. He was given a star studded side in IPL and he couldn't get the results. Afridi is an asset for Pakistan and he should be in the T20 and One day side always but when it comes to captaincy , not only he is average but also too aggressive and too outspoken. I am not a fan of Mr. Butt but this time he is on the mark. Afridi should concentrate more on his batting and bowling and try to win matches for Pakistan. He will surely get a contract from a T20 tournament or IPL if he plays matches and performs for Pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    Just one solid reason is enough. PCB's lack of control cost Pakistan two superstars (and his cousin). Then he wiped clean the rest of the superstars and stars to ensure Afridi's crippled team would face a worse fate than the teams of Waqar Younis and Inzamam. Unfortunately for Mr. Butt, Afridi took that star-less team to where the star studded team of Waqar and Inzamam had not gone before. What more? if Mr. Butt had not imposed players like Kamran Akmal, Afridi could have won the semi finals and in that case could have won the world cup. This one reason is good enough to ban Afridi for life.

  • Vineet on May 28, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    There's "solid reason" to give this dumb joker a butt spanking!

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