PCB complains of political interference in Afridi row
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday complained of "political interference" in its disciplinary proceedings against all-rounder Shahid Afridi.cricket Updated: Jun 06, 2011 15:56 IST
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday complained of "political interference" in its disciplinary proceedings against all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
Afridi, 31, is being brought up on charges of breaching the PCB's code of conduct by abruptly announcing his retirement from international cricket last week and making disparaging comments about board officials.
The board suspended Afridi's central contract, revoked all 'no-objection certificates' issued to him to play in foreign leagues and summoned him for a hearing on Wednesday.
"A number of political functionaries are interfering in what is essentially an internal disciplinary matter of the PCB," the board said in a statement.
"It is disappointing that despite (the fact) Afridi has pleaded guilty to the offence, some political functionaries are extending their support with a view to influencing the disciplinary process being followed by PCB," PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt said.
"It would now appear an attempt by some forces to prevent the Board from implementing the code of conduct and their act may well damage Pakistan cricket."
The cricketer enjoys considerable political backing.
Former Prime Minister and leader of the main opposition party Nawaz Sharif called Afridi and promised his party would not allow the board to do him any injustice.
Dr Farooq Sattar, of the Mutthaida-e-Qaumi Movement in Afridi's hometown of Karachi, also issued a statement last week criticising the PCB for their treatment of him.
The heads of the national assembly and senate standing committees on sports have also come out in support of Afridi and criticised Butt.
Afridi was removed as captain of the one-day team last month before the series against Ireland after he spoke publicly about interference in his work by team management.
The cricketer got a rousing reception on his return from England last night.
"I am totally astounded by the huge crowds that have shown up to support me. I think my stand now in this issue is vindicated," he said.