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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.

Source :

Cricket-Pakistan's Rashid Latif steps down as Afghanistan coach

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has stepped down as coach of the Afghanistan cricket team after they were whitewashed in a one-day series in Pakistan last month.
"I have submitted my resignation to the Afghanistan cricket board and they have accepted it although my contract was until the end of July," Latif, who had been in the job for a year, told Reuters.

Latif, who played in 37 test matches, said Afghanistan had great passion and potential despite losing all three matches against the Pakistan A side in last month's series.

"But I feel that when I can't deliver with the team and the performance is also not upto my expectations, it is no use my continuing as coach," he said.
"The truth is I was not satisfied that my association with the team was producing the desired results."

Cricket has flourished in the country after being introduced by Afghans who were raised in Pakistan, in particular Peshawar.
The national side, which cannot play its home games in Afghanistan because of the security situation, narrowly missed out on qualifying for the this year's World Cup in India and Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan joined the International Cricket Council in 2001 and has one-day international status until 2013.

Pakistan not to organise 'home' series in Zimbabwe

The Pakistan cricket Board might split its forthcoming Test and ODI series against Sri Lanka at two neutral venues but has dropped the idea of organising it in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe was under consideration to be a neutral venue for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series later this year but sources in the board said the high costs involved in organising the matches had virtually ruled it out of contention.

"The costs are a big factor in the board deciding on neutral venues for its home series like the one against Sri Lanka. Zimbabwe was a high cost option," an official source said.

Pakistan has been forced to play its home series abroad since 2009 when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.

Since then, no team has toured Pakistan for an official series because of security reasons although Afghanistan was in the country last month to play a series against the Pakistan 'A' side.

Sri Lanka have also asked Pakistan to organise the series in October and November either in Sri Lanka or at a neutral venue while turning down an official invitation from the PCB to tour Pakistan for the series.

"Chances are that the Tests may be played in Sri Lanka and the limited over matches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi," the source said.

He said Sri Lanka was a viable option because of low costs and also because having Tests in a cricket nation could induce more people to watch the matches.

"There are decent crowds for the limited over matches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as we have seen in recent series there but hardly anyone comes for the Tests. So we are mulling the possibility of splitting the series into two parts and organising it in two countries," the source said.

Pakistan will also have to play its home series against England in Sri Lanka or some other neutral venue as the England Cricket board has refused to send its team to Pakistan because of security concerns.

The source said Pakistan was keen to support Zimbabwe and the national team would be touring the African nation in August to play a Test and some one-day matches.

Afridi, Butt meet to resolve differences

Former ODI captain Shahid Afridi held a meeting with Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt here on Tuesday and reached an out-of-court solution, private news channels reported. The PCB in a statement also confirmed that a meeting was held between the PCB Chairman and the former skipper of One-Day International (ODI) team in the Federal Capital but declined to make any comments.
“At this stage PCB will not make any further comments on the discussions that have been taken place between the Chairman PCB and Mr. Shahid Afridi,” the statement said.
However, according to sources, the meeting was held with an aim to thaw out a quick solution to the crisis, engulfing Pakistan cricket at present. Afridi agreed to withdraw the case against the PCB in Sindh High Court and also to appear before its disciplinary committee. 

Some sections of the media stated that the former skipper was likely to be reissued clearance to play overseas after he withdraws his petition against the PCB. The PCB will issue the NOC for Afridi after he appears before the committee.
After getting the required permission Afridi will be able to play for Hampshire County in a T20 tournament in England and Sri Lanka Premier League.
Afridi went to court after the PCB punished him for allegedly breaching a code of conduct by announcing his retirement and levelling allegations against the board. The board suspended the central contract of the all-rounder and revoked all his NOCs, thus stopping him to play in England and Sri Lanka. 
The Sindh High Court in Karachi adjourned Afridi’s case until June 16, when PCB officials are expected to justify their sanctions against the player before a two-member bench makes a decision.

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