Lahore: Shahid Afridi`s refusal to stay away from the media cost him the captaincy of Pakistan`s ODI team as Board officials said the all-rounder did not take warnings to keep "internal matters" to himself seriously.
Although some former Test players and administrators have criticised PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt for his decision to change appoint Misbah-ul-Haq as captain for the coming two matches against Ireland, insiders in the board said there was ground for action.
"There were a number of factors involved in Butt deciding to remove Afridi as captain but the main was his refusal to listen to board warnings about repeatedly going to the media with internal matters," one official source said.
He said even before the World Cup, Butt was not very keen on having Afridi lead the team after a number of incidents that is why the announcement of the captain was delayed.
"Butt and other officials in the board were not happy at inside information of the team and about details of discussions held with Afridi being published in the media from time to time," the source said.
He said Butt had in one meeting before the World Cup told Afridi to refrain from going to the media all the time on confidential matters.
"In one particular incident Afridi was called to a meeting by Butt in which the PCB Chairman discussed an issue with him about which no one had knowledge except the two and the chief operating officer.”
"The next day when the issue was highlighted in the media, Butt had no doubt left who was behind the leakage as only Afridi didn`t know that the information given to him on the issue was incorrect," the source said.
He said Butt was also unhappy that the details about his discussion with Afridi on team matters after he returned from the West Indies were also published in the media the next day.
"That is why Butt reacted so strongly and removed Afridi as captain. The PCB chief is clear in his mind that he will not allow any player to dictate terms to the board or violate the code of conduct.
He said Butt had told Afridi after he complained about problems with head coach Waqar Younis on selection matters that he would sort out things after the tour but he should refrain from speaking in the media on the issue again.
Another source said the board was also not happy that Afridi had failed to send his reply to the notice issued to him after he returned from the West Indies and spoke to the media at the airport about interference in his domain.
Former Test pacer Sarfaraz Nawaz backed the decision to remove Afridi as one-day captain.
"He didn`t do anything in the West Indies with bat or ball and he has struggled as batsman for a while now. He should now just concentrate on leading the team in Twenty20 cricket," Nawaz said.