Pakistan news June 2, 2011

Waqar 'disappointed' with Afridi retirement

ESPNcricinfo staff

Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, has said he is "disappointed" with Shahid Afridi's conditional retirement from international cricket, while denying there was a rift between him and Afridi. Waqar is due to meet PCB officials to discuss team manager Intikhab Alam's report on Pakistan's tour of the West Indies, and was reluctant to comment on the situation with Afridi before that.

"I am disappointed at his decision to retire," Waqar said. "I don't want to make too many comments before meeting PCB officials. There are no personal differences; we all play for Pakistan and I have only come to know about my differences with Afridi through the media and will not comment on them until I know what Afridi has said."

Waqar's reported rift with Afridi was followed by the latter being removed as Pakistan's one-day captain, a move that led to Afridi retiring in protest of what he saw as a humiliation by the PCB. Waqar, however, insisted he had nothing to do with Afridi's removal from the captaincy.

"It's not in my hand to appoint captain of the team," he told reporters, on returning from the tour of Ireland. "The PCB chairman [Ijaz Butt] appoints the captain so you better ask him why the change was made."

Afridi's retirement has prompted the PBC to suspend his central contact and revoke the No-Objection Certificate that allowed him to play for Hampshire in England's domestic Twenty20 tournament. While Afridi replied to a showcause noticed from the board by accepting he had violated their code of conduct, he also appealed to the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, to step in and stop the board from denying him the right to play cricket where he chose to.

The situation has taken on a further political tinge with Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik vowing to persuade the hugely popular Afridi to reconsider his decision. "I will do whatever I can to resolve this issue, as I am equally a fan of Afridi," Malik tweeted on Thursday.

Malik has gotten involved in cricketing affairs before: recently, he coaxed Zulqarnain Haider to return to Pakistan from England where he had fled to on the eve of a one-day match to escape from what Zulqarnain claims were death threats made to him by bookmakers. In the previous administration of Nasim Ashraf, he also played a mediating role between Ashraf and Shoaib Akhtar, in another dispute between board head and star player that got out of hand.

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  • V.L on June 3, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    PCB is making mountains out of molehills. Yes he said he was not happy with the team privately. So what? What he said was justified coz they lost the last 2 ODIs pathetically. Sacking a captain who got a rag-tag team to Semi-Final(which is an achievement in itself) and suspending his contract is how you don't do things while running a cricket board. Ijaz Butt is a disgrace to world cricket and most importantly to Pakistan Cricket!

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    The Curse of Butt that's what I am gonna say

  • Sarathi on June 3, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    I am a Sri lankan and love to see pakistan playing well.These sort of things will destroy this great cricketing nation.Sad of order to lift the game these things well as security problems should tackle off in a good manner. countries like SL will help Pakistanis for sure because pakistan has been a great friend of SL.So wish all the very best for there future

  • Chitraj on June 2, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    If only someone gave me a nickel for every time Afridi announced his "retirement". This is becoming a bit of a joke and hes at the butt of it (no pun intended!)

  • Alex on June 2, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    Pakistan and the West Indies are having the same problems with Players and coach/manager and Board members . The players cannot play their natural game because of all board-room/ arm-chair decisions and not on the field decisions . The cricket of these two Countries are falling apart . Its gone from being colourful and exciting to dull and boring . Wake up and lets put back the SPARK in Test Cricket . Its the only game that one shows their True Metal for 5 days . 20/20.... 50 over cricket is for a night out with the fellas .

  • Khizr on June 2, 2011, 19:04 GMT

    People are commenting on Afridi not delivering as a batsman... he took the most wickets in the last worldcup and took Pakistan to semifinal. What are we compalining about? He now claims himself to be a bowler.

  • Adnan on June 2, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Ijaz Butt is a curse and the sooner we get rid of him the better !!!

  • Jawwad on June 2, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Who the heck is the board to stop him from playing Cricket for whoever he likes? If I am Shahid Afridi, I would contact Ireland, Canada or even England to see if they need his services. I am sure someone will. There is just no point in playing for Pakistan anymore. Hey PCB! English Raj is well over. We are a free country now but you're still running the affairs with beaurocratic layers that are now redundant in today's day and age. Maybe he should contact US Baseball (MLB) teams too. They can use a slogger?

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Come on join hands in the protest against pcb in Lahore starting from tomorrow then Karachi n Islamabad we love afridi n because of Mohammad iilyas the father in law of imran farhat afridi is not in the side because afridi refused to keep farhat in the odi squad

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    We will definitely miss you lad

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