PCB eager to reconcile with Afridi

Relations between Shahid Afridi and PCB were at a low after Ijaz Butt’s critical comments on his captaincy AFP

Lahore: Jul 14, 2011

The Pakistan Cricket Board has started taking damage control steps to revive its relationship with former national One-day team captain Shahid Afridi.

The PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt, in a clear move to send out a message that the board had nothing personal against Afridi, made it a point to inquire about the health of his (Afridi’s) father, who is admitted in a hospital in ICU after suffering a heart attack.

“Ijaz Butt had a bouquet of flowers and a get well card sent to Shahid at the hospital, while a senior official of the board also called up the former captain to inquire about the health of his ailing father,” a source in the board said.

The source also said that the moves were designed to snub the impression that the PCB had any personal grudge against the allrounder.

“As far as his contribution to Pakistan cricket is concerned everyone in the board appreciates and admires him for it,” the source said.

Relations between Afridi and the board have been tense since June and got worse recently when in an interview Butt passed critical comments about his captaincy and quoted the tour report of manager Intikhab Alam from the West Indies.

Afridi rushed back home from England, where was doing extremely well for county Hampshire, to be with his father.

Afridi said that he was deeply disappointed by Butt’s remarks and reserved the right to respond to them also through legal means.

The 31-year-old remains one of the most popular cricketers in Pakistan with a huge fan following and there have been renewed calls for his comeback since he announced retirement from all international cricket in late May.