PCB chief reacts cautiously on Afridi's retirement

Shahid Afridi pictured bowling before a World Cup match Getty Images

Lahore: May 31, 2011

The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Ijaz Butt has reacted cautiously to the flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi’s announcement that he didn’t want to play under the current board set-up.

“It is his personal decision to retire. But we have not dropped him, neither did we tell him not to play,” Butt said.

Afridi rocked Pakistan cricket last night when he announced his retirement from international cricket, insisting he had been given no respect by the Board and that he didn’t want to play under such “disgraceful” administrators.

The former Pakistan limited-over skipper, however, made it clear that if the board is changed and people wanted him to continue to play he would reconsider his retirement decision.

Afridi reacted after Butt sacked him as captain for the two-match Ireland ODI series on disciplinary grounds and in his place appointed Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq to lead the team in the One-dayers as well.

Misbah led the team to a 2-0 win over Ireland.

Butt said he would not like to comment in detail on the issue until the team returned home and he had discussions with the team management.

“Let the team return and then we will elaborate on lot of things,” he said.

But the PCB chief clarified that the board had selected Afridi to play in the Ireland series and it was the all-rounder’s decision to opt out of the series because of the illness of his father, who is undergoing treatment in the United States.

Butt said if Afridi had decided to retire from all international cricket, it was his personal decision.

Well placed sources in the board said that the Chairman had spoken to his senior officials and some members of the governing body on the Afridi issue but at present the board is unclear on what line of action to take after the scathing criticism they had received at the hands of Afridi.

Afridi even accused a particular group from Punjab in the board of scheming against him and turning the Chairman against him.

“There is no doubt he has violated the code of conduct with his utterly reckless comments on board and team issues. We will release a proper official statement later today on this issue,” an official said.