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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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Stand-off may end soon as Afridi meets Ijaz

Shahid Afridi, Ijaz Butt, PCB, bbom boom afridi, SHC

 The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), while confirming on Tuesday that a meeting was indeed held between its chairman Ijaz Butt and the disgruntled former ODI captain Shahid Afridi in Islamabad, refused to comment on the outcome of the meeting.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board confirms that a meeting was held between PCB chairman and Mr Shahid Afridi in Islamabad. At this stage, the PCB will not make any further comments on the discussions that have taken place between the two,” a PCB news release said.
However, it is learnt that both the parties have agreed to settle the issue on a ‘give and take’ basis.

Inside sources said while Afridi will withdraw his case from the Sindh High Court (SHC) and will appear before the PCB disciplinary committee to face various disciplinary charges against him, the PCB will issue him an No-Objection-Certificate (NOC) to allow him to play anywhere he wants to.
Afridi is keen to get an NOC immediately from the board to represent Hampshire county in an ongoing domestic T20 tournament in England, the final of which is scheduled to be held on June 22.
Though there are reports that some influential political figures played their role in bringing the two parties to the negotiating table, a PCB official on the condition of anonymity dispelled the impression and categorically denied that any political influence was in play to arrange the meeting.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), it is learnt, has some role in sorting out the issue as its affiliated county Hampshire requested the PCB for Afridi’s availability since the all-rounder has high-market value as a dashing limited-overs player.
Earlier,on May 31, the PCB had taken a strict action against Afridi, for violating different clauses of his central contract relating to disciplinary acts after he had lashed out at the PCB officials in the media. A show-cause notice was issued to him seeking his explanation within seven days.

The PCB also suspended Afridi’s central contract, besides revoking all the NOCs issued to the all-rounder.
Afridi submitted his reply promptly to the PCB, confessing that he had indeed breached the central contract and is ready to appear before the disciplinary committee. However, he requested the PCB to re-issue him the NOC to play for Hampshire since he was running out of time.
The PCB refused the NOC and insisted on Afridi to appear before its three-member committee headed by Sultan Rana with Shafiq Ahmad and Usman Wahla as members.
Upon failing to get the NOC, Afridi opted to move the SHC and challenged the PCB’s stance of denying him the opportunity to earn his living by playing abroad.
The SHC has set June 16 as the next date of hearing.

PCB refuses to divulge details

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed spokesman Nadeem Sarwar confirmed on Tuesday that Chairman Ijaz Butt had held a meeting with Pakistan's former captain and all-rounder Shahid Afridi but refused to divulge any details of the unexpected meeting in Islamabad. 
"Yes, we can confirm that a meeting has taken place between the board chairman and Shahid Afridi but we are not in a position to give out details of the discussions that took place at this meeting," Nadeem Sarwar said.

Sources have said the meeting had taken place on the insistence of a government official close to President Asif Zardari who is chief patron of the board. "It has been decided in the meeting that Afridi will withdraw his petition and appear before the disciplinary committee of the board," another source divulged. 
He said in return for Afridi's compliance the board's disciplinary committee will impose a token fine and seek an apology from him and the board will immediately issue him NOCs to go and play in England and Sri Lanka. 
No official of the board was willing to confirm or deny the development but the sources said the meeting had taken place at an undisclosed 

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