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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

PCB disciplinary committee a body of nincompoops

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) disciplinary committee’s devilish decision of imposing a sky rocketing fine of Rs4.5 million on all-rounder Shahid Afridi for showing arrogance against the board in the national media, despite an apology he rendered, has dismayed millions in this country.

The stupid action of the PCB has compelled the Afridi to maintain his stance of retiring from national cricket. If such a huge amount is the price of allowing him to play for Hampshire in England, it is too much. Let us not forget that Afridi’s short stint of leading Pakistan in the limited over matches put our team on the path of victories thus adding a new dimension to Pakistan cricket.

By cheerfully accepting the PCB’s decision, Afridi has proved himself to be a true sportsman. Not restoring his captaincy is a clear injustice to his greatness. If retirement from national cricket was the ultimate end, he needed no permission from the cricket board to play for any team or county abroad. It would be worthwhile comparing this case with another one that the PCB disciplinary committee handled last week. It pertains to a mischievous act of abandoning the team in the midst of a Test match performed by wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider. The player who can be dubbed as a lunatic, mad, disloyal, foolish and unscrupulous not only violated the players’ code of conduct but trampled it under his feet. He flew to England without informing the team management for seeking the British nationality, which he considered more precious than representing Pakistan in international cricket. During his stay in England he continued pumping the media with all sorts of rubbish bringing disgrace to Pakistan and its cricket. In addition to some fake personnel he even accused some members of the Pakistan team of giving him life threats in case he did not indulge in match fixing.

When he failed in his efforts to settle down in England and was given a cold shoulder by the cricket circles in England to play for any of the clubs or counties, he was left with no alternative other than returning to Pakistan. With the political leaders playing an active role in our cricket these days, the player is said to be shielded by one of the federal ministers. Playing as a fiddle in the hands of the minister, the disciplinary committee heartily accepted the player’s apology for all sins that he committed and has let him off with a small fine of Rs500,000. Just compare the size of punishment awarded to the two players viz-a-viz the blunders they committed and one will know the wisdom and the cricket vision of the PCB top brass under whose commands the disciplinary committee functions.

Surprisingly, the PCB is prepared to sacrifice a reputed player like Afridi while accepting back nitwit of a player like Haider who has no impressive performance to his credit. By blaming some of the team members who are the future hopes of Pakistan cricket, Haider cannot possibly find a place in the present Pakistan squad. Not only that he has lost his credibility his conduct will remain doubtful for all times. Having also accused the ‘fixing mafia’ for his act of betraying his team, he will remain under their surveillance. The PCB must realise that they would be buying big trouble for Pakistan cricket by accepting back Haider in its ranks. He deserves to be awarded a life ban and kept away from the national scene for all times to come.

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