PCB waits for Afridi`s letter before issuing him NOC
Karachi: The Pakistan cricket Board is waiting for a written statement from retired captain Shahid Afridi in which he will accept his guilt of violating the board`s code of conduct before he is issued a NOC to go and play abroad in foreign T20 leagues.
Well-informed sources in the government and the board said on Wednesday that as part of the deal that Afridi reached with the Chairman of the board, Ijaz Butt he has to give an acceptance statement admitting he was guilty of violating the board`s disciplinary clauses for players.
"Basically Afridi has fulfilled the other parts of the commitment he made with Butt during their meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday," one source disclosed.
"One was that he would withdraw his petition against the board from the Sindh High Court which he did on Wednesday and secondly that he is ready to face the disciplinary committee of the board. His lawyers have sent a letter to the board confirming both things," the source said.
"The board is now just waiting for his acceptance statement after which they will fix the date of the disciplinary hearing. Although Afridi`s lawyers have informed the board he (Afridi) is willing to even appear before the committee on Thursday at short notice," the source added.
Another source said that during the meeting with Butt, the PCB chairman had relented and assured Senators involved in arranging the meeting that once Afridi fulfilled the above conditions he would be given a NOC to play abroad.
"Butt has assured the Senators NOC will be issued to Afridi. But he also made it clear that Afridi might have to face a financial penalty from the disciplinary committee before the case is closed," the source said.
The sources aware of the developments in the Afridi-PCB issue said the meeting was arranged on the insistence of some sitting Senators from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
"Two of the Senators belong to the Afridi tribe, i.e Abbas Khan Afridi and Haji Khan Afridi whom Shahid approached for help after the High Court at its hearing last week refused to issue orders to the PCB to give him a NOC to go abroad and play for Hampshire," one source said.
He said the Senators had contacted the President who is chief patron of the board in the matter but Asif Ali Zardari made it clear that while he was in favor of an out-of-court settlement he could not interfere in the working of the board`s disciplinary procedure.
"It was after this that the Senators managed to convince the PCB chief to meet with Afridi and sort out the matter," the source said.
He said during the meeting at no stage did Butt discuss with Afridi his future as a Pakistan player and his present status quo remains as a retired player.
"Afridi is basically interested in getting the NOCs to go and play abroad and he used his connections in the Afridi clan to meet with the PCB Chairman," the source said.
The source said there was strong chances of the disciplinary committee holding its hearing tomorrow or Friday so that Afridi can leave for England as soon as possible.
"But a financial penalty is on the cards for the allrounder that is after he gives his acceptance statement. But there is little likelihood of any ban being imposed on him as he is now a retired player," the source said.
The source said the lawyers for Afridi had sent the PCB a letter confirming that the player was now ready to face the disciplinary committee at a short notice and also confirmed the withdrawal of their petition from the Sindh High Court.
"We have received the copy of the court order confirming withdrawal of the case by Afridi and also that he is ready to face the disciplinary committee now," a PCB official said.