Afridi, as I see him

Two bloggers face off on Afridi’s controversial resignation – were his actions justified or did ego get the best of him?

The Pakistan Cricket Board had it coming: Zainab Imam

Someone had to go against them and who better than Shahid Afridi – Lala to his fans – who not only says he has public support and doesn’t need anything more, but also behaves like it.

Many believe that Afridi has a personal agenda against the board which is why he, loved and hated for his mercurial temperament, has taken the bull by the horns. They point to the day he announced his retirement, saying he was dejected after being stripped of captaincy. What they fail to look at is the legitimate reason he gave: The perennial uncertainty about his immediate future and not being able to do his job properly due to unwanted interference.

PCB’s reply to this was the worst possible way to treat a player under whose captaincy Pakistan made it to the World Cup semi-final despite a mediocre year behind them and the shock loss that was Mohammad Amir.

The time is now. We see scandal after scandal unfold under Ijaz Butt and the board’s incompetence at handling trivial matters is quite clear. It needs to go. And Afridi is going to be the man spearheading the movement.

Suspending Afridi’s contract and revoking his NOC is PCB’s way of saying that no one can challenge its decisions, not even the captain. For him to put his career at stake for the improvement of cricket is one of the boldest steps any cricketer has ever taken. And we should be behind the man who has dared.

Afridi’s reaction lacks dignity and poise: Amna Lone

The drama that unfolded with Afridi commenting on Waqar Younis’ interference in team affairs has taken on proportions that were quite unimaginable when he first spoke about it.

It seems that both Afridi and the blunder-prone PCB are bent upon outdoing each other in committing one howler after another. However, as a weary Pakistan cricket fan, who has had to put up with the shenanigans of the PCB for the longest time, one cannot help but feel that the board alone cannot be blamed for giving rise to the stand-off.

Only the most biased would disagree with the fact that Afridi is a proven match-winner who’s left an indelible mark on Pakistan cricket. However, that doesn’t give him the license to openly wash the dressing room’s dirty linen in public. Making irresponsible statements and playing to the gallery is not the kind of behavior that a senior player, who’s captained the national team, should be engaging in.

Afridi’s comments on the coach’s interference were needless as the ideal approach would’ve been to seek a quiet, behind-the-doors solution, failing which he could have gone public with his grievances as a last resort.

Admittedly, his removal from captaincy was taken with reasons unexplained, but his reaction to the move completely lacked dignity and poise. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to swallow one’s pride and act maturely for the greater good, but that’s something that seems to be lost on Afridi.


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