Afridi-Zardari meeting may pave way for his return to Pak team

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi’s planned meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday may end his deadlock with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and pave way for the ‘retired’ all-rounder’s return to the national team.

Afridi is due to meet Zardari on Tuesday as part of a group of sportsmen taking part in relief efforts for flood victims.

The former captain may share his grievances on the sidelines of that meeting,a leading daily reports.

Afridi had announced his retirement from international cricket in May after the PCB removed him as one-day international (ODI) captain following a dispute with head coach Waqar Younis.

However, Afridi has expressed his desire to return to international cricket as Waqar, with whom he had serious differences during his captaincy, is set to quit as head coach.

An official close to Afridi said that although the main agenda of the meeting was relief activities, talks of his tiff with the PCB could not be ruled out.

“It’s not confirmed but there exists a possibility,” the paper quoted the official, as saying.

“The meeting is meant for the relief campaign, but Afridi’s issue may be discussed. A breakthrough can’t be ruled out,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister on Sports, Haleem Adil Sheikh, clarified that the main focus of the meeting was not to sort out Afridi’s differences.

“It’s a meeting of the delegation to decide the course of flood-relief campaign,” said Sheikh.

The delegation that will meet the president on Monday also includes Olympians like hockey chief selector Hanif Khan and sprint queen Naseem Hamid.

Sheikh, who is leading the campaign, has planned various activities, including exhibition matches and sending sports heroes to schools, to raise funds.


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