DateLine: 6th June 2011
With the current PCB versus Afridi crisis showing no signs of settling down, many voices of the past seem to have turned their guns on Afridi and his behaviour which they feel may have contributed to his problems.
It is therefore refreshing, to hear a distinguished Pakistani cricketer of the past, Asif Iqbal, offering a different perspective on this issue.
In comments to PakPassion.net, Asif refused to assign any specific blame to Shahid Afridi.
Instead he expressed his disappointment at the performance of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and held them squarely responsible for this and many other issues of the past stating that "Itís quite hard to talk about something which is not an isolated case. As one can see from previous records, since the current Chairman [Ijaz Butt] has taken over, there have been so many changes in the management of the team i.e. the captain, the coaches and the selection committee."
Asif also felt that the PCB may be in danger of exceeding its mandate as a purely administrative organization. He said that "These are the people responsible for the actual representation of Pakistan on the field. The Boardís role, on the other hand, is purely administrative. Unfortunately we are in the current situation because of the poor management of the PCB."
The most frustrating aspect of it all for Iqbal was the hypocritical nature, and lack of fortitude in the PCBís actions - consistency in the application of its own guidelines was a serious issue.
"This stands for everything that is been happening in Pakistan cricket, not in this individual case of Shahid Afridi. If the Board has decided that the players have violated the Code of Conduct, then they need to stand by that decision."
"What happens instead is that a major political figure comes in to mediate, and the player makes a return. Or a player apologizes to the Chairman, and then the player is back. There is no consistency in decision making at PCB."
As a faithful servant of Pakistani cricket and seasoned observer of the game, Asif expressed his pain at what he saw was the constant stream of bad news attributed to Pakistani cricket under the reign of the current PCB management.
"It is so unfortunate to see this as an ex-cricketer because we want to talk about the cricket the players are playing and their on-field achievements, but most of the time on TV, media and forums we are talking about whatís wrong with Pakistan cricket, instead of the positives in our cricket, and the cricket itself."
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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