The Pakistan Cricket Board has privately got support from the corridors of power to proceed with their disciplinary action against Shahid Afridi despite the issue slowly being politicized with the growing involvement of politicians and government functionaries.
The disgruntled Afridi has also appealed to the chief patron of the board, President Asif Zardari to intervene in cricket matters and take out time for cricket.
He has appealed to the President to save Pakistan cricket from further damage from the present board headed by Ijaz Butt. But well-informed sources told PTI that Ijaz Butt had spoken to those who matter in Islamabad and they had told him he should proceed according to the book against Afridi.
"Butt has got tacit support to do whatever he feels is right at the moment in the Afridi case," one source said. He, however, conceded that the sports minister, Engineer Shaukatullah who hails from the tribal areas was working behind the scenes in support of Afridi and trying to move the corridors of power to remove Butt as the board Chairman.
"Shaukatullah has quietly told the media that the Prime Minister and President have asked him to submit reports on the row between Afridi and the board," the source said. The source said even the PCB was aware of the fact that Afridi perhaps more than any other cricketer commanded lot of popularity and fan following among the masses.
"The board is expecting more backlash in the coming days from different quarters but they are firm that they are doing everything according to the rules and regulations governing the players central contracts."