Argument with PCB boss behind Afridi’s decision

Updated: Jul 17, 2010, 19:35 PM IST

Lahore: Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi’s sudden announcement of retirement from Test cricket took all by surprise, and insiders say that the all-rounder’s abrupt decision came after he had a heated debate with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt.

According to sources, a ‘group’ in the team was conspiring to replace Afridi with opener Salman Butt, and when the matter reached Ijaz, he enquired about the issue from the skipper after Pakistan’s humiliating 150-run defeat in the first Test against Australia, leading to a squabble between the two.

The war of words with PCB chief left Afridi disgruntled following which he decided to quit Test captaincy, a newspaper reports.

“It is a thoughtful decision. I think Salman Butt is the best man for this job now. I have a minor injury and I would rather focus on ODIs and Twenty20 cricket,” Afridi had told a radio station after losing the Lord’s Test.

The slam bang cricketer’s unexpected decision to quit Test captaincy after the second Test at Headingly surprised even his Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting.

Afridi, however, is doubtful for the match starting Wednesday as he is suffering from a side strain.

“That has surprised me as well after he has just played his first Test in four years here,” Ponting said.