Disappointed Afridi vows to respond to Butt`s criticism

Karachi: Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi is disappointed by the criticism from PCB chief Ijaz Butt and said he would respond to the remarks after consulting his lawyers when he returns home on July 17.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Ijaz Butt spoke at length about the board`s recent feud with Afridi and highlighted how the allrounder had tried to use political clout to pressurise the board.

Butt also held Afridi responsible for Pakistan`s defeats in the last two one-day internationals in the West Indies.

Manager Intikhab Alam in his interview talked about how some players tried to interfere in management and leaked out team information to the media. Although he didn`t take any names but Intikhab said he was aware who these players were.

Afridi, reacting to the interviews, has said that he will be consulting his lawyers when he returns to Pakistan on July 17.

"I will unmask all these people who are running a smear campaign against me. I don`t want to say anything right now because I am enjoying my time with Hampshire but when I return I will also respond to them," Afridi said.

Afridi said after having given so much service to Pakistan cricket he was upset at the campaign against him.

"I will ask my legion of supporters not to be disheartened I will respond when I return," he said.

A board official, however, said that there was no campaign against Afridi and the matter between him and the PCB was closed.

"Whatever the Chairman said about Afridi being responsible for the defeats in the West Indies was based on the tour report of Intikhab.”

"The manager also noted that it was because of the issues Afridi had with the team`s coach and management that the team spirit was affected and the players couldn`t perform well in the last two one-dayers," the official said.

"No one is saying that Afridi deliberately made us lose the matches but his behavior prior to the matches certainly derailed the team`s focus."

The PCB official pointed out that Butt in his interview had clearly highlighted and appreciated Afridi`s contribution as a cricketer.

While stating that as far as he was concerned Afridi was no longer a captaincy material for the PCB, Butt had said that the allrounder`s contribution as a player was outstanding.

"He has performed very well and he has been a leading cricketer for Pakistan," Butt said.

But the board is also under scrutiny for the action taken by their disciplinary committee against Afridi and wicketkeeper, Zulqarnain Haider.

A report in a newspaper on Sunday claimed that although Zulqarnain was found guilty of violating more clauses of the code of conduct (18) and he was fined just half a million rupees whereas although Afridi found guilty of violating lesser clauses (14) was fined 4.5 million rupees.

The leading newspaper questioned whether the action of the disciplinary committee that heard the cases against both players was biased against Afridi and the board had double standards while dealing with players.

Afridi who announced his retirement from all international cricket has been doing extremely well for English county, Hampshire in the T20 event and recently signed up with a Australian state side for their domestic big bash tournament.


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