DateLine: 6th June 2011
In the latest controversy to hit Pakistan cricket, allrounder Shahid Afridi bid farewell to international cricket in a protest against the current PCB setup. The 31 year old players decision came as a surprise and has drawn mixed reactions from former cricket players. PakPassion.Net recently caught up with former offspinner, Tauseef Ahmed to seek his views on the latest conundrum facing Pakistan cricket.
Tauseef Ahmed who represented Pakistan on 104 occasions expressed his displeasure at the number of controversies hitting Pakistan cricket. "We've been through tough times on many occasions in the past 8-10 years. Now our country cannot afford to have more issues like those."
"Why are we always involved in every controversy be it ball tampering or any other major issue? You've got to punish whoever is at fault."
Tauseef Ahmed who played a major role in Pakistans famous victory over India at Bangalore in 1986-87 firmly believes that the players must obey their contractual obligations under all circumstances. He stated "Everyone knows that the players sign a code of conduct that they must follow. If you are found guilty of breaching the code of conduct, you should be punished."
Whilst the differences between captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis had been brewing for some time, it was not until Shahid Afridi spoke to the media on his return from the West Indies that the issue picked up heat. Soon after that, in an attempt to eradicate "player power", the Pakistan Cricket Board sacked Afridi as skipper of the one day side, awarding the captaincy to his deputy and Pakistans Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq. The move did not go down well with Afridi who was allegedly not informed of the decision beforehand.
In his most recent outburst in the media, the flamboyant allrounder lambasted the PCB for disrespecting him and not consulting him over critical issues concerning the national team.
Commenting on Afridis grievances with the board, Tauseef said "Shahid Afridi had been the captain for quite a long time. Why is it only now that he is raising issues such as not being consulted over team selection?"
On being asked whether the decision to strip Afridi of the captaincy was justified, Tauseef Ahmed opined "Theres absolutely no question mark over his ability - he had been bowling really well though he was struggling with the bat."
"However, Afridi had been giving a lot of statements [to the media] lately. Speaking after winning or losing a match is fine. [But] theres a code of conduct in place and I think it does not allow him to make so many statements. It seems to me that making too many statements is the reason why he was removed from the captaincy" he further added.
Tauseef Ahmed termed the dashing allrounder as an "asset of the country" and stressed that the team needs him. He also expressed the hope that the matter will be resolved soon without dragging it any further.
"They [PCB] have formed a three-member committee to hear Afridis case and they have summoned him on June 8."
He added "Lets wait for the verdict of the committee. Well get more knowledge [about the issue] once Waqar and Intikhab Alams reports come out. I think they shouldnt delay the verdict unnecessarily. Theres no need to create any more issues" he remarked.
In his response to PCBs showcause notice, Afridi has accepted the violation of the code of conduct and has agreed to face whatever disciplinary action will be taken against him. His letter has been duly forwarded to the three-man disciplinary committee comprising of Director Domestic cricket Sultan Rana, G.M Domestic Cricket Shafiq Ahmed and Manager International Cricket Usman Wahla whilst the Legal Advisor PCB Tafazzul Rizvi will assist the Committee.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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