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Afridi wants contract, NOC reinstated

Osman Samiuddin

June 6, 2011

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Fans show their support for Shahid Afridi, Karachi, June 5, 2011
Shahid Afridi was welcomed by thousands of supporters at the Karachi airport © AFP
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Two days before he is due to appear before a PCB disciplinary committee, Shahid Afridi and his lawyers asked the board again for justice, which in this case centred around an appeal to reinstate his central contract and NOC before the June 8 hearing. Flanked by Syed Ali Zafar and Mahmood Mandviwalla of the legal firm Mandviwalla & Zafar, the trio refused, however, to rule in or out Afridi's appearance at the hearing.

Much of an energetic press conference at the Karachi Press Club - Afridi's first public appearance since his return on Sunday night from the UK - reiterated the demands of the four-page letter the legal firm sent to the PCB over the weekend, as reported by ESPNcricinfo. Both lawyers stressed repeatedly that they were asking only for a due process to be followed and that the act of suspension of the central contract and NOC withdrawal were punishments before the player had been heard.

"Due process means if there is an accusation against someone, he should be allowed to defend that," Zafar said. "He should have a legal representative there, his point of view should be allowed and a fair and just inquiry should happen and then a decision. What has happened is that a showcause notice has been sent, he has been accused of things and a punishment given. We say you can give punishment, but hear out our player first. It is a principle of natural justice."

Soon after he was sent a showcause notice, Afridi responded to the board and accepted that he had violated the code. But Zafar insisted that guilt or innocence was not yet the matter. "There is no admission of guilt or innocence," Zafar said. "We have only said, carry out the proceedings but that the NOC and the suspension of contract, take that back and listen to us first. After that, make a decision. They have acted without hearing us out. This is our position and this is the right legal position. We are hopeful that they will make the right decision. It is just the way they have adopted currently shows that they have judged beforehand."

In a press release issued a few hours before the press conference, the board said it would allow Afridi a legal representative at the hearing, one of the demands of Afridi's lawyers. But both Zafar and Mandviwalla said they had received no such communication yet and refused to say definitively whether that meant Afridi would appear at the hearing or not. However, the PCB's legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi told ESPNcricinfo that after the press conference, Afridi's lawyers had been told they will be allowed in, though they had yet to respond to it.

"If this process remains, then that [not appearing] is an option," Zafar said. "But if they really write a letter to us saying that a lawyer is allowed then we can think about it. We have no issue appearing but if this process remains, we cannot go."

Afridi's arrival at Karachi airport on Sunday night drew thousands of supporters. Indicative of his popularity and background as a Pathan resident in Karachi, the occasion even saw a rare unity among the city's strongest and constantly bickering political parties, the MQM and ANP. "I wanted to thank the public and the support I was given last night. People are saying that this is a political issue but when I got out of the airport, I saw flags of MQM, ANP, PPP (the ruling party), and especially the Pakistan flags. This is not a political thing. Many feel what I have done is right and that what has happened with me is wrong."

Afridi has been in touch with political figures through the mess, though he would only say that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari - whom he bumped into at a dinner in London, he said - were keeping abreast of matters. "They know who is right and wrong, this is about power and who has that we all know," he said.

Otherwise he reiterated much of what he has been saying over the past week. He was upset that he had heard of his removal through the media, he wanted his NOC back, he was not seeking a fight, merely justice. "I am not here to fight, I am a cricketer, I want to play cricket. I want what is my right," he said. "If they don't want me to play for Pakistan, but at least let me play domestic cricket or county cricket. I want my right, my NOC."

He did warn, however, of the implications such a dispute between player and board can have on both current and future players. "An example should be set for cricketers of the future. Many things were a problem under my captaincy, whether that is management or anything else, there were problems. Until those things are solved….if I come back and those problems are still there, they will only increase over time. Those things need to be cleared so future cricketers don't suffer and focus purely on cricket.

"There are other senior players who are having problems, but because of central contracts they don't say anything. They worry about their careers. It is not just me who has the problem. If I get out of the way today, one of them will come up. We want to finish these issues and focus on cricket. The way the board is treating all players is wrong. This is not how you finish player power, by humiliating them. I have played 13-14 years and I don't want to finish like this, I want to leave with respect."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

exactly what i have said in earler posts as some of the guys here have said.. its just immature behaviou from this man who can eat the ball and also ruin the pitches of karachi and at that point of time he didnt think of respect. instead people are just mad about him. he is absolutely not required. atlease misbah can make runs. and people shud just look forward. people shud first respect miandad, imran, inzi, wasim and waqar and then think of afridi who is not even 1% of these guys.. they show that PCB has powers and players dont but the fact is players have got more power. remember that younis khan and sheheryar (chairman) incident, who younis removed the guy. they shud play for country first and respect the country and then look for their respect.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2011, 8:47 GMT)

Afridi is a trouble shooter who leaks inside happenings on home and away tours to a group of journalists and creates problems for the team management and the PCB. I am sure someone from the notorious circle of his so-called friends in journalism have wrongly advised him that he is bigger than Imran Khan and should impose your authority on the PCB. Afridi doesn't possess the ingredients of an Imran - good education, excellent behaviour on and off the field - command on the players and at the same time gain respect from them - leading from the front in the middle etc; sadly Afridi doesn't match these qualities. He only knows to spoil the pitch and bit the ball during the course of a match. Further he is not bigger than the institution (PCB). He feels pleasure in informing media that he met with Bilawal Bhutto during a reception and Nawaz Sharif has also phoned him (Afridi), yet he says that he doesn't intend to politicize his issue. How strange? Afridi's time is over now.

Posted by naumanhyderi on (June 7, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

Afridi is much better of Pakistan cricketers in comparison as a human being. He is a little out spoken person. If he had raised an issue about the role of coach and captain in the team then this should have been addressed first instead of the breach in code of conduct. Afridi has never been looking for captaincy. By removing him from captaincy and suspending his bread and butter, infact PCB has disgraced itself in front of cricketing World. Comments against Shahid Afridi in this forum lack merit. Fans love to see Shahid in the team, if he does not perform with bat, his bowling and fielding justify his presence. The chairman of PCB himself has no merit, he been more irresponsible in terms of giving statements in the media (e.g. against ECB ). What else can one expect from such a Chairman.

Posted by Y2SJ on (June 7, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

If he wants his contract why did he quit a few days ago? What is his intentions? He wants to retire, but still have a contract and be paid? Or is he not willing to play for his country?

Very immature.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2011, 8:28 GMT)

Pakistan lost the semi final because of Afridi? you gotta be kidding me. Afridi had realized Razzaq needed more time to settle thats why he sent Razzaq before himself in the match against Australia, as well as against India, only for him to get out cheaply on 3, while even though Afridi scored a quick 19. all went to vain. we lost because of Afridi? he employed Wahab Riaz when everybody was against him, and guess what, Riaz completely ripped thru the middle order of India, taking Sehwag, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni, what more did you want from Afridi to do as captain? he took the catch of Sachin, who was dropped 4 times before that, he employed Hafeez to get quick wicket of Gambhir, i ask what more did you want from him?

Posted by   on (June 7, 2011, 2:31 GMT)

I think both pcb chairman and afridi should be kicked out of the team.I dont why imran khan is not at all bother about the matter.Both are swallowing the pak cric.

Posted by NKP1 on (June 7, 2011, 2:20 GMT)

Pakistani Cricket is just embarassment. Dropping of Younis..now doing this to Afridi (a player who got pakistan to semifinal of world cup and this pakistan team didnt even have that high expectation b/c lack of quality players)...Until the Pakistan board gets there act together...pakistan cricket will always be A JOKE to the whole world. There is always something with pakistan...briberby (asif and salman), cheating (ball tampering afridi), board issues...god can this country get anything right. Pakistan was a top contender with wasim and Inzzi and now they are just joke. Please pakistan get it right...we miss your flare, passion and competitivenss in the game of cricket

Posted by K.A.K on (June 7, 2011, 1:29 GMT)

Afridi's NOC should be restoreed. Let him retire now. Cutting short his international career is enough of a punishment for not agreeing with Ijaz Butt.

Posted by K.A.K on (June 7, 2011, 0:58 GMT)

WI board did not agree with Gayle, they did not select him in the team but they still let him play in IPL. PCB wants to make sure Afridi's career is destroyed for ever.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2011, 0:10 GMT)

i dont think afridi would play under this board ever again bcos the problem for me now is not wat happened in westindies what he said in his statement "PUNJAB LAHORE LOBBY" which is the truth but shouldnt have been said either go to a civil war to end the rule of punjabis in pakistan else this will go on :> tht if why u see the support of other political parties his noc and contract got cancelled bcos of this statement you cant chng whats been going on in pakistan for 60+ yrs with just a statement ... :>

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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