LONDON: Shahid Afridi said he was “disappointed” to be missing out on playing for defending champions Hampshire in this season's English county Twenty20 competition after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) effectively banned him from playing abroad.
Former one-day captain Afridi had his central contract suspended by the PCB on Tuesday, having announced his retirement from international cricket.That move came after the 31-year-old was stripped of the Pakistan one-day captaincy last month following a spat with coach Waqar Younis.
Now the PCB has revoked all no-objection certificates (NOCs) for the player, meaning Afridi, widely praised for his role in leading Pakistan to the semi-finals of the recent World Cup in the subcontinent, will not be officially permitted to play overseas.
“I am disappointed,” Afridi told AFP on Wednesday, hours before Hampshire were due to begin the defence of their title against Somerset in a repeat of last season's final.
Afridi, a hugely popular big-hitting all-rounder, whose leg-spin has become arguably even more important than his batting, had also been due to play in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League in July.
“The PCB has initiated action against Afridi in response to the multiple breaches he has committed under the central contract signed with PCB,” a board statement said Tuesday.
“Afridi's central contract has been suspended with immediate effect. Consequently, all NOCs granted to him have been revoked. All payments on account of central contract have been suspended.”
Afridi had said he would not play under the current PCB set-up, headed by chairman Ijaz Butt, and accused the administration of mistreating the players.He also lashed out at Waqar for undue meddling in team selection.
“Everyone should do his job and must be held accountable for that,” Afridi said, without naming anyone, on his return from the West Indies where he led the team to a 3-2 one-day series victory last month.
When asked about his differences with Waqar, Afridi replied: “The differences are not at a stage where they cannot be solved.”Afridi withdrew from Pakistan's latest matches, a one-day series against Ireland which finished in a 2-0 win on Monday, to visit his ailing father in the United States.AFP