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Friday, June 3, 2011

‘Afridi didn’t need to raise hell’

Pakistan coach Waqar expressed that he was taken back by Afridi’s decision while he was not in the country and he came to know of the developments in the dreadful matter through the media. PHOTO: FILE AFP
LAHORE:  While admitting to having conflicts with former captain Shahid Afridi, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis expressed his surprise over how the all-rounder had ‘raised hell’ while announcing his retirement.
Afridi announced his international retirement protesting the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to remove him from One-Day International captaincy as well as the treatment meted out to him. Waqar expressed his disappointment with the announcement and termed it an unfortunate episode.
“When you spend a lot of time together, differences do emerge and views might conflict to some extent but that doesn’t mean you raise hell,” said Waqar while talking to reporters at Gaddafi Stadium after submitting the tour report. “The whole episode is very unfortunate and I’m very disappointed because Pakistan cricket was heading up.”
Waqar said he had a positive and productive meeting with the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt in which he submitted his report on the tour of West Indies.
“To be a Pakistan coach is a tough job and criticism comes your way regularly. One must also be ready for it. Being a coach, if the team performs well, I get credit and in case of its failure, I get the blame as well.”
Afridi’s removal from captaincy was reportedly because of him lashing out against the team management, notably Waqar for ‘interfering too much’. However, Waqar appeared reluctant to comment on Afridi’s comments but did believe that the all-rounder was improving.
“I was obviously happy with his captaincy as he was improving but I don’t want to comment further. I have handed my report to the chairman. As a coach, I have my own domain and I know my job description. I never interfered with Afridi’s job or in the selection affairs. His statement that the coach intervened comes as a surprise and I fail to understand why he said such a thing.”
PCB forms disciplinary committee
Meanwhile, in response to the reply sent by Afridi to the PCB’s charge-sheet, the board has formed a three-member committee to look into the conflict.
The committee is made up of Sultan Rana (Director Domestic Cricket), Shafiq Ahmed (GM Domestic Cricket) and Usman Wahla (Manager International Cricket) and has asked Afridi to appear before them on Wednesday.
Commenting on the letter sent to Afridi today, PCB’s Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad said, “It is painful for us to get involved in a dispute with a cricketer who has been the national team captain until the West Indies series.”
He lauded Afridi’s contribution to Pakistan cricket but emphasised on the need to maintain strict discipline in the team.
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