Shaheen Afridi, PCB reach uneasy truce as dissatisfaction lingers


The PCB and Shaheen Shah Afridi have reached an uneasy truce after PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi met the player in Kakul earlier today. Afridi, who was deposed as Pakistan T20I captain after just one series, was thoroughly disgruntled with the manner of his sacking and the lack of communication from the board. Relations deteriorated further when the PCB put out a statement on their website containing quotes from Afridi, ostensibly offering Babar Azam, the incoming captain, his full support and stating it was an honour to lead Pakistan.

ESPNcricinfo understands that while Afridi still feels his concerns have not been addressed appropriately, the player was willing to put the saga behind him and move on.

Afridi was incensed by a statement containing words which were neither approved nor said by him, and ESPNcricinfo understands the PCB acknowledged to the player that an internal error had been made on the board’s part. Though Afridi continues to feel the manner of his sacking was neither fair nor transparent, it is understood relations with Babar – a long-time close friend of Afridi’s – remain strong.

There are no concerns about Afridi being unavailable for Pakistan’s upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand, which begins later this month in Rawalpindi, with the fast bowler looking to turn his focus back on his game.

Afridi’s obvious displeasure was significant enough for PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi to head to Kakul, where the Pakistan players are training at a military camp. The PCB, for its part, released a statement saying the chairman met the players “to gather firsthand insights into the training camp”.

The PCB released a photograph of Naqvi and Afridi shaking hands, though it is understood no individual discussion at length between the pair took place. “The chairman also took the opportunity to interact with the players, personally commending them for their dedication and active participation in the camp. He expressed satisfaction over the players’ enthusiasm and commitment towards enhancing their fitness levels,” the PCB statement read.

The camp ends on April 8, with New Zealand arriving in Pakistan on April 14 to play 5 T20Is from April 28 to 27.

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