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Afridi files court petition against PCB

Suspended Pakistan cricket star Shahid Afridi on Tuesday filed a petition in court against sanctions imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board, his lawyer said.

A long running slanging match between Afridi and Pakistani managers has rocked the game, still reeling from the aftermath of a spot-fixing scandal which ended in lengthy bans on Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.

“We have filed a petition in the (southern province of) Sindh High Court against the sanctions on our client Afridi and have appealed for a stay order against the punishments against him,” lawyer Mahmood Mandviwala told Agence France-Presse.

The move comes after Afridi announced his retirement from international cricket to protest against being replaced as one-day captain last month.

The PCB said Afridi breached the players’ code of conduct by announcing his retirement and levelling allegations against the board.

In punishment, the PCB suspended his central contract, revoked all his no-objection certificates which would have allowed him to play in England and Sri Lanka and served him with a show-cause notice last week.

They also formed a three-man disciplinary committee and ordered Afridi to appear before it on Wednesday. His lawyer has said he will not attend and Afridi has challenged the disciplinary process.

‘Undue meddling’
The 31-year-old former one-day captain is the latest in a series of Pakistani cricketers to open legal battle with the cricket authorities.

The last was express paceman Shoaib Akhtar, whose appeal against sanctions imposed in 2008 for publicly criticising the PCB is still pending in court in the eastern city of Lahore.

Afridi’s petition was filed after Pakistan coach Waqar Younis and manager Intikhab Alam criticised Afridi as “immature and unwilling to listen” in tour reports leaked to the media and published in the Dawn newspaper on Tuesday.

“As captain I feel he is still very immature, has poor discipline, lacks game plan and is unwilling to listen to others’ opinion or advice,” wrote Waqar of the West Indies tour where Afridi led the team to a 3-2 win in May.

It was Afridi’s public criticism of Waqar last month over “undue meddling” in team selection, which forced the PCB to serve him with a show-cause notice and then dump him as captain.

In his report, Waqar said coaching staff had failed to improve Afridi’s behaviour, saying that “sometimes his volatile and immature nature have proved detrimental and led to unfortunate outcome of the game losses”.

Waqar said Afridi created a fuss during the fourth and fifth one-day match on the West Indies tour.

“Afridi came into the meetings with a decisive mindset and was refusing to discuss the playing 11 options for the team and behaved very inappropriately and walked out of the meeting,” wrote Waqar in his report.

“Afridi’s attitude and unwillingness to sort out matters led to a very uncomfortable dressing room environment which affected the players’ performance, resulting in the last two losses of the series.”

Afridi’s lawyer Mandviwala blamed the PCB for maligning his client by leaking the reports. — AFP

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Shahid Hashmi
Guest Author

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