While Shahid Afridi and his lawyers ponder over their next move – whether to attend the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) disciplinary committee hearing or not – the emphasis remains on the sought-after NOC that will allow the retired all-rounder to resume his domestic career. The PCB suspended Afridi’s central contract and revoked all NOCs handed out to him in the immediate aftermath of his retirement – which includes comments made on-air without mincing his words against the board, the coach or the ‘Punjab-Lahore lobby’. It also asked the former captain to appear before its disciplinary committee tomorrow despite Afridi and his lawyers questioning its transparency. “The committee that I’ve been asked to visit, they are all part of the PCB,” said Afridi at Karachi Press Club. “According to them, they’ll hear the case, record my version and pass on the judgment in the space of two hours. I can’t understand this process.” Not to attend hearing Afridi’s lawyers insist the all-rounder will not be attending the hearing because they claim it is unlawful. “The process followed by the PCB does not conform with the law as even under Pakistan’s constitution there is a right given to everyone to be heard before a case is decided,” said Syed Ali Zafar, Afridi’s lawyer. Zafar also added that the PCB had taken strict steps without giving Afridi a chance to tell his side of the story. “The PCB served the first show-cause notice on May 18 and then suddenly Afridi’s NOCs were revoked and his central contract was suspended, which was against the law,” he said. Afridi, who returned from England to a rousing welcome from fans on Sunday, said the PCB should have given him a chance to air his views. “The PCB chairman took a decision based on whatever the management told him. He should have given me a chance to speak over happenings in the West Indies.” The former captain also denied that he wanted to make a comeback as captain, insisting playing cricket for Pakistan remained his priority. “It’s not about captaincy. I’ve played under juniors in the past. If the PCB wants to make Asad Shafiq or Umar Akmal the captain, that’s fine. I’m ready to play under them. But the way the board treats players is wrong. They say they want to eradicate player-power. This is not the way to do it, by humiliating players. “I don’t want to end my career like this. I play with respect and will end in a respectable manner.” (With additional input from AFP) Lawyers may be allowed in hearing The PCB, following their staunch stance that no outsiders will be allowed in the disciplinary committee hearing to take place tomorrow, has now allowed the former captain Shahid Afridi to be assisted by a lawyer, if the committee allows it. “The Pakistan Cricket Board states that it will have no objection if the disciplinary committee allows Shahid Afridi to be assisted and represented by a lawyer during the proceedings,” said a PCB statement. “The PCB reiterates to provide fair and just opportunity to Afridi to present his defense with regard to violations of the central contract and PCB’s code of conduct.” Shahid Afridi “The way the board treats players is wrong. They say they want to eradicate player-power. This is not the way to do it, by humiliating players. I don’t want to end my career like this. I play with respect and will end in a respectable manner.”
By: The Express Tribune