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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Breaking News: PCB allows Shahid Afridi to play for Hampshire

ISLAMABAD: Former ODI captain Shahid Afridi will finally join Hampshire next week after successful talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday in Islamabad.

Following an hour long meeting between Afridi and PCB chief Ijaz Butt, PCB granted the player his ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC).

Afridi’s lawyer Umran Khan told BBC Radio Solent that the meeting went very well and both parties had come to an amicable agreement.

He added that he had spoken to Hampshire manager, Giles White and they’re very pleased that it’s all sorted out and that Afridi, too, was very excited to finally be linking up with Hampshire and getting back to doing what he loves, which is playing cricket.

Earlier on Tuesday, the dispute between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Shahid Afridi had finally started moving towards a solution following the former captain’s meeting with board chairman Ijaz Butt in Islamabad.

According to officials, the two met in presence of a government official yesterday to resolve the battle that began with the all-rounder’s retirement from international cricket last month.

The meeting took place on insistence of a top government official close to board’s patron-in-chief President Asif Ali Zardari.

The PCB confirmed the meeting took place but refrained from giving details of discussion.

“PCB confirms the meeting was held,” read the board’s media release.

“PCB will not make any further comment on the discussion at this stage,” he added.

However, The Express Tribune learnt discussion was made between Afridi and Butt about out-of-court settlement to the issue.

“Afridi has agreed to withdraw his plea from court against sanctions by the PCB,” said the official.

He said in return, the board’s disciplinary committee will impose a token fine before issuing him the NOCs for featuring in the overseas tournament.

Earlier the PCB suspended Afridi’s contract and revoked permission for him to play abroad to punish his recent decision to retire from international cricket and criticise the board.

Afridi went to court demanding that the sanctions be overturned. The court adjourned a PCB disciplinary committee meeting and summoned PCB officials to appear in court.

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