We have a strong case against Afridi: PCB

The Board is also expecting that the Sindh High Court would vacate the stay order on the disciplinary proceedings against the allrounder.

The legal team of the board will appear before a bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Musheer Alam today and will hear the arguments of the PCB against the petition filed by Afridi, challenging the disciplinary committee of the board and its proceedings.
"We have a strong case legally and we will challenge the petition on grounds of jurisdiction," PCB lawyer Tafazzul Rizvi said.

The board is expecting to see a huge media at the hearing and also the supporters of Afridi to show up in large numbers to support him.

"The biggest thing going against Afridi is that in 2010 he submitted to the same disciplinary procedure that is being applied now by the board. So how can he challenge the procedure now," a source in the board, said.

The source also disclosed that the legal team would be submitting reports of managers and coaches on Afridi of various tours of the Pakistan team in the last few years.

"The purpose of submitting these reports is to convince the honourable court that Afridi has always been somewhat of a loose cannon and prone to disciplinary problems and outbursts in the media," the source said.

Afridi, who is facing disciplinary action from the board for unilaterally announcing his retirement and making disparaging remarks about the board and its officials, has challenged the constitution of the disciplinary committee and its proceedings.

A PCB official said after going through the order of the court, where it issued a stay order against the disciplinary proceedings, it was clear that the court has been misguided about the policy and there is nothing illegal about it.

"We have proper proof and will go all out to defend our case," the official said.
The dispute between Afridi and the board has also taken a turn for the worse after the politicisation of the issue by some politicians.

"The situation is clear to us, if the Court does not allow the disciplinary proceedings to continue then Pakistan cricket could face problems in future from other players on discipline and compliance to code of conduct issues," he said.

Former Pakistan Test captain Zaheer Abbas said the whole affair was an unfortunate one for Pakistan cricket.

"It is unfortunate what is happening. What is a seemingly minor issue had been allowed to fester for so long," said Zaheer.

"It's very unfortunate that this dispute has ended up in court. It's just a minor issue but has been blown out of proportion. PCB just wants the player to be disciplined," he added.

Zaheer feels that the PCB has been branded as a villain.
"Discipline, definitely is an important aspect but in Pakistan cricket once the board gets strict on discipline, it is treated as a villain," he said.

The PCB yesterday also suspended the contract of national selector Mohammad Illyas for violating his contractual terms by going to the media on the Shahid Afridi issue.
Analysts see the suspension of Illyas as a move by the board to convey to the court that it is unbiased in disciplinary issues.

Another former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif said the case was a big test for the board.
"I think in the first place there is a need for the board to understand the fact that even if their Chairman wants to change the captain or coach or impose his views on selection matters, players need to be given proper respect."

Latif said if the board had contacted Afridi and spoken to him before removing him as captain, the issue would not have been blow up like it did.

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