Afridi pays price for speaking truth about team selection process for UAE series

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s One-day International Captain, Shahid Afridi, had to pay the price for speaking the truth, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) pointed its guns at him for expressing his displeasure at not being consulted during the team’s selection for the upcoming UAE series.

A PCB spokesman disclosed that Afridi had been officially warned over his comments, the Daily Times reported.

“It is not a show-cause notice but a written warning, asking Afridi to avoid giving statements on selection issues,” the spokesman added. Under the PCB code of conduct, players are forbidden to speak on selection matters, and are also not allowed to criticize the board’s policies.

Afridi has been named Pakistan’s captain for the two Twenty20 and five one-day matches against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later this month.

“I make it a point to give the selectors my input because I am the one who has to get the desired results from my team on the field,” Afridi had said in a television interview.

“I wanted 2-3 players other than Sohail Tanvir in the side. I will meet PCB chairman Ijaz Butt to discuss this,” he had added.

On Tuesday, Afridi received a letter from the PCB, warning him to refrain from commenting on selection matters, and asking him to explain his remarks on the team selected for the UAE series, The News reported.

The ODI skipper is planning to send his explanation to the Board on Wednesday (today). “I would tell the Board in my reply that I meant no harm,” he said.

“I will tell them my comments were aimed at ensuring that all of us can work together for the betterment of the team. I just wanted to make sure that all our efforts are in one direction because it’s our team and needs a united front to get back on the right track before next year’s World Cup,” he added.

Though the PCB’s decision to slap him with a notice could be a signal that his captaincy is in danger, Afridi appears to be least concerned.

“For me the betterment of our team is more important than any other thing else including the captaincy,” he said.

Vindicating his stand, Pakistan’s chief selector Mohsin Khan admitted at a hearing conducted by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Sports that Afridi and Pakistan coach Waqar Younis were not consulted before the team was finalised.

He revealed that he was instructed by PCB chairman Ijaz Butt to go ahead and decide the touring party for the series against South Africa.

Meanwhile, Former Pakistani Test cricketers have lambasted the PCB for taking action against Afridi.

Former fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz pointed out that the captain had all the right to raise an objection if a team was selected without taking his proper input.

Ex-Test batsman Basit Ali said that the PCB’s incompetence had been highlighted yet again, as instead of taking notice of the captain’s objections it had decided to take action against him. (ANI)

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