Shaheen Afridi and PCB reach uneasy truce as discontent persists

Afridi, unhappy with the manner in which he was sacked, still feels his concerns were not adequately addressed, but he was ready to put this saga behind him.

Daniel Rasoul

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi and Shaheen Shah Afridi shake hands PCB

The PCB and Shaheen Shah Afridi reached an uneasy truce after PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi met the player in Kakul earlier today. Afridi, who was removed as Pakistan T20I captain after just one series, was deeply unhappy with the manner of his dismissal and lack of communication from the board of directors. Relations deteriorated further when the PCB released a statement on its website containing quotes from Afridi, ostensibly offering Babar Azam, the new captain, his full support and declaring that it was an honor to lead Pakistan.

ESPNcricinfo understands that while Afridi still feels his concerns were not adequately addressed, the player was ready to put the saga behind him and move on.

Afridi was angered by a statement containing words that were neither approved nor spoken by him, and ESPNcricinfo understands that the PCB admitted to the player that an internal error had been made on the part of the board. Although Afridi continues to believe that the terms of his dismissal were neither fair nor transparent, it appears that relations with Babar – a long-time close friend of Afridi – remain strong.

There are no concerns over Afridi’s unavailability for Pakistan’s upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand, which begins later this month in Rawalpindi, with the fast bowler looking to concentrate at new to his game.

Afridi’s obvious displeasure was significant enough for PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi to visit Kakul, where Pakistani players train at a military camp. The PCB, for its part, issued a statement saying the president met with the players “to gather first-hand information about the training camp.”

The PCB released a photo of Naqvi and Afridi shaking hands, although it appears no in-depth individual discussions took place between the two men. “The President also took the opportunity to interact with the players, personally commending them for their dedication and active participation in the camp. He expressed satisfaction over the enthusiasm and commitment of the players towards improvement of their physical condition”, indicates the PCB press release.

The camp concludes on April 8, with New Zealand arriving in Pakistan on April 14 to play 5 T20Is from April 18 to 27.

Danyal Rasool is the Pakistan correspondent for ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

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