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Afridi appeals to President Zardari for help


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Former captain Shahid Afridi appealed to Pakistan's president for help Wednesday after his central contract was suspended.—AP

KARACHI: Former captain Shahid Afridi appealed to Pakistan's president for help Wednesday after his central contract was suspended when he announced his retirement from international cricket.

The 31-year-old all-rounder, dumped as one-day captain following a row with coach Waqar Younis last month, quit international cricket in protest at his treatment by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

In response, the PCB suspended his central contract and revoked all his no-objection certificates, meaning he will not be officially permitted to play overseas.

The move will stop him from playing for Hampshire in England's Twenty20 league and in next month's Sri Lankan Premier League.

Afridi said he had appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari to help.

“I have appealed to the president to intervene urgently, also deal with other issues and save the game from getting into more crises,” Afridi told AFP by telephone from Southampton.

Afridi confirmed that the England and Wales Cricket Board stopped him from playing after the PCB revoked its permission.

“The captaincy was not an issue as I have already played under senior players, but it was a matter of self respect and honour which was hurt,” said Afridi who refused to speak about the PCB sanctions.

The opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N party has already submitted an adjournment motion in the national assembly against Afridi's punishment.

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan, who now heads his own opposition party, said the PCB was not run professionally.

“The board is not run like an institution,” Khan told a television channel.

“Afridi feels injustice is done so he has taken a decision and you don't change four-five captains in a year.”

"Just recently everyone was praising Afridi after he led Pakistan to the semi-final of the World Cup and then suddenly this happened," said Khan.

“The board is also run on ad-hoc basis like the country,” he added.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which belongs to the coalition government headed by Zardari's Pakistan People's Party, also objected to the sanctions on Afridi.

“President Zardari should take notice of the biased attitude of the board,” said MQM leader Farooq Sattar. “You don't treat national heroes like this.”

Sports Minister Shaukatullah Khan lashed out at PCB chairman Ijaz Butt over the “injustice” and said he would discuss the matter with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, who heads the sports committee in the upper house of parliament, demanded Butt's sacking.

“A change in the PCB is imperative,” said Qureshi. “Butt has not allowed any captain to settle so it will be better to sack him.”

Comments (23) Closed

blacksheep Jun 01, 2011 06:02pm
Afridi needs to understand that he is a player and not above the system....besides his batting and bowling averages are mediocre and honestly it was Misbah and Waqar that put the team together last year in the NZ tests which allowed Afridi to win the NZ ODIs followed by the WC....
A.Bajwa Jun 01, 2011 08:31pm
Why on earth our Cricket Board behaves like that. The players should be treated with some respect and not shoveled about like petty thieves.
sami Jun 01, 2011 09:37pm
you must be out of your mind Afridi,appealing to some one,who doesn't even qualify as a president for whole country,against some one who don't qualify as pcb chairman.
Saad Jun 01, 2011 09:44pm
PCB please stop taking revenges and act like a professional sports organizaion.
usman Jun 02, 2011 12:11am
Is this really the biggest issue faced by our country right now?
Asad Jun 02, 2011 12:26am
If Afridi thinks that his departure is a great loss to Pakistani Cricket, he is day-dreaming. Pakistan already has a strong bowling line-up, he would be replaced easily, as for batting, we dont need a player who scores 35 runs in one match and 1 run in next 35 matches.
QURAT-UL-AIN SYEDAIN Jun 02, 2011 12:34am
Afridi is world class player and capable captain who has led his team from nowhere to WC's semi-finals .He was hailed as national hero upon returning home from India and now he is afallen star.He deserves better treatment.
shari Jun 02, 2011 02:00am
Lets see who can change ijazz butt.
Tariq Qureshi Jun 02, 2011 02:10am
'The pathan from the tribal areas'. Well, he is a Karachiite for all intents and purposes ... when will you start publishing that fact? Reports are that Afridi mentioned what the problem is in the team. It is time we fixed "that" problem as well.
Rehan Jun 02, 2011 03:11am
Yeah, that's what only Mr. president is capable of.
JAVED A. KHAN Jun 02, 2011 03:19am
The people of Pakistan have allowed Ijaz Butt to act 'almighty' and all powerful. It is their duty to get rid of Ijaz Butt by appealing the President of Pakistan who is also the patron in chief of the PCB. Since Ijaz Butt has taken over the post of the Chairman of the PCB he has brought shame and disgrace to the nation. So far he has not apologized to the Sri Lankan government, the Sri Lankan team or the people of Sri Lanka after the terrorist attack in Lahore. In fact he has the audacity and tongue in cheek to invite Sri Lanka once again to visit Pakistan. It is during Ijaz Butt's tenure that the match fixing and betting scandal raised its ugly head. Instead of suspending his players he publicly announced that he has ample evidence that the English team has taken money from the bookies and lost the next match! Without any proof he blabbed out such serious comments against a country and then went there to apologize in person. During his 2 years and 8 months tenure he has changed 8 captains and 3 selectors. He is least bothered about the future of cricket in Pakistan and is now taking out vendetta against Shahid Afridi. Butt and Mohammad Ilyass must be removed with immediate effect and Javed Miandad must be made Chairman of the PCB.
Mohammed Amdani Jun 02, 2011 04:08am
It is time for a change in the PCB. Also there is a need for transparency to see who is in the wrong. As such all the details of the dispute between Afridi, Waqar and Ijaz Butt should be made public.
Syed Jun 02, 2011 05:43am
PCB should be run by the people who have played the game and know the ins and outs of the game. Butt needs to go NOW, or the game status will also plunge just like the other systems in the country. God help us all.
Abdul Ghani Jun 02, 2011 06:07am
I don't support Afridi after his outburst !
S Kumar Jun 02, 2011 06:10am
Afridi is a versatile cricketer and he should be respected. A cricketer needs to concentrate and with the type of support he is getting from PCB, can he devote himself to the game. He is one talent, who has been wasted because of adverse environment. If it is a matter of face saving for the PCB, a negotiation between the parties should be sponsored by the government to make sure that such a great talent is not wasted.
Impala Jun 02, 2011 07:03am
Why would PCB be under a president's jurisdiction who is having a hard enough time doing his own job? Indeed the PCB management needs a huge change but at the same time Afridi ought to pay for his immaturity. He should be kept out.
SABEEH Jun 02, 2011 08:41am
I believ that it is not a professional attitude by PCB.We can get the lesson from other countries that How they respect their Nationakl Heros. I strongly request to President to take immediate action and Change the PCB present offcials and revoke allnegative decesion made by PCB against Our not only National but International Hero "Afrid". It is not only my voice .it is a voice of People Pakistan.
HIDAYAT SHAIKH Jun 02, 2011 10:28am
Looks like Pakistan Cricket board has a problem with Afridi.
umair Jun 02, 2011 12:01pm
once again politician is starting playing of peoples in Pakistan . they can'nt do anything just give the statement to increase their vote bank . As per as Afridi issue i wish he would get justice but......if you get justice in Pakistan it will be miracle .
Haroon Jun 02, 2011 02:07pm
I will never watch Pakistanis mataches, where there is no Afridi, PCB lost millions of hearts by doing this. Shame on PCB, they have to learn some things from the cricket boards of the world. The sin of Afridi was that, he made able the team to stand on its feet which was fallen by wrong decisions of PCB. We want Afridi back otherwise Pakistani team will lose millions of people.
crosscounty Jun 02, 2011 04:44pm
yeah, miandad should be made that dawood ibrahim can run the board now!
zia khan Jun 02, 2011 05:48pm
we all know very well that most of the cricket fans love shahid khan afridi from all over the world. we r also supporting him, his true spirits are always witness for his loyality. we will get him back soon . in sha allah. u will see this
iftikhar Jun 08, 2011 06:56am
Ye, Waqar and Misbah, both are masters of fixing and politician. Let me tell u all guys: This is do or die situation! We must all support Afridi (Honest, passionate, patriotic) otherwise we will all pray for Pakistan success and Waqar, Misbah and whole system including PCB will fix matches freely. For God sake! This is not time to criticise Afridi performance, though his performance is not critical. If ur memories are not short then he was highest wicket taker with Zaheer khan in WC 11. Come on Pakistanis! Wake up otherwise u will be finished in cricket just like ur political governance.