Pakistan Cricket Board to hold urgent meeting with Shaheen Afridi

Just a few days after rumours were floating around regarding the PCB wanting to transfer the baton of captaincy to Babar Azam after the chairman of the PCB, Mohsin Naqvi declined to offer any support to Afrdi regarding his tenure as a captain, there is a new twist. With Babar giving a sort of an ultimatum to the board regarding his willingness to make a comeback as a T20I captain only if he’s assured to be handed the captaincy for all three formats, a recent development has surfaced. The development has ignited a controversy among the pace-bowling spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi and the Pakistan Cricket Board.

There was a statement published on the official website of the PCB that was attributed to Afridi, with Afridi purportedly stating that the role of leading the national side would be treasured by Afridi, given the wonderful platform it was for him. It proceeded with stating that it was on Afridi to support Babar owing to him being a member of the team, with him holding Babar in high regard being someone who’s previously played under his captaincy. It concluded with him mentioning that at the end of the day, both of them had the same vision in mind – to make Pakistan a commanding entity in the realm of cricket.

“I will always cherish the memories and the opportunity. As a team player, it is my duty to back our captain, Babar Azam. I have played under his captaincy and have nothing but respect for him. I will try to help him on and off the field. We are all one. Our aim is the same, to help Pakistan become the best team in the world,” said the statements attributed to Afridi read on PCB’s website.

With this, Pakistan’s captaincy conundrum worsened as Afridi was reportedly left enraged by the misrepresentation in the website statement of the PCB. Afridi was reportedly about to release a statement to this effect, but as per reports by ESPNcricinfo, PCB swiftly organized emergency discussions with him, with there being yet another hastily organized meeting about the same to materialize on Monday.

Afridi is believed to be unclear about the reasons behind his initial replacement and is frustrated by the PCB’s lack of communication regarding the matter. In turn, the PCB’s attempt to forcefully squash any kind of precipitated resentment has only acted as a catalyst in enhancing the combustibility of the ongoing exothermic process.

Notably, Afridi’s captaincy expulsion is believed to coincide with a lackluster performance during the New Zealand T20Is, which Pakistan lost 4-1, coupled with a disappointing showing for Lahore Qalandars in the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League, where his team could only get a solitary win in a ten-match campaign.

Naqvi and the PCB are anticipated to work towards pacifying him and attenuating the amplitude of any lingering resentment over the entire ordeal, although the effectiveness of their efforts remains uncertain.