Afridi returns to fervent reception
Shahid Afridi returned home to a rousing welcome from thousands of fans and said the huge turnout was a vindication of his stance against the PCB.
The 31-year-old allrounder was given a warm welcome at the Karachi airport late Sunday night but when he reached his residence in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, a bigger crowd had gathered outside to show their solidarity and support for him.
Afridi was hoisted on their shoulders by fans who raised slogans in his favor and showered him with rose petals.
One enthusiastic fan also lit a torch and handed it to the flamboyant cricketer who was all smiles at the crowd turnout outside his residence.
“I am simply stunned by the large number of people who have shown up to support me. This is a vindication of my stand in the dispute with the Board,” Afridi said.
He also made it clear that as long as his fans were behind him, he would continue his fight against “injustice” by the PCB.
Earlier, the all-rounder told Geo News that his dispute had nothing to do with losing the captaincy of the national one-day team.
“I have never run after the captaincy and that is not the issue for me. The issue is of self-respect and the way the Board is treating players in the national team,” he said.
PCB unhappy with political interference
In a statement released by the PCB, Butt said some political functionaries are extending their support with a view to influence the disciplinary process being followed by PCB despite Afridi pleading guilty to the offences.
Butt was apparently referring to a telephone call made by the leader of opposition party, Nawaz Sharif and his extension of support for the all-rounder.
“PCB has been criticised for being ineffective in the past in the context of discipline. It would now appear an attempt by some forces to prevent the Board from implementing the code of conduct and their act may well damage Pakistan cricket.” said a visibly upset Butt.
He continued: “If they continue to lend support to Afridi and exert undue pressure on the PCB for their non-cricketing interests, the sport will suffer.”
Butt said that an understanding needs to be developed among all stakeholders, media and the politicians that no one is above the law and that for maintaining discipline within the team, it is absolutely imperative that the PCB carries out its process without any fear or favour.
On Sunday, the Board officially confirmed that a number of political functionaries are interfering in what the PCB termed as essentially an internal disciplinary matter.
source – www.espnstar.com