Afridi withdraws case against PCB, amicable settlement likely

Afridi withdraws case against PCB, amicable settlement likely

Afridi's legal counsel Mahmood Mandviwalla appeared on behalf of the all-rounder before a two-member bench of the High Court on Wednesday and withdraw the petition filed by Afridi against the board and its disciplinary proceedings against him.

"The bench after hearing us out allowed us to withdraw our petition. We are hopeful that Afridi will get a just solution from the board to his grievances," Mandviwalla told reporters on the court premises.

The withdrawal by Afridi of his petition comes a day after he met PCB chairman Ijaz Butt in Islamabad in the presence of an influential government personality and the two discussed the ongoing dispute.

Afridi also appeared in a public function to celebrate the relaunch of the Geo Super sports channel but declined to comment on his meeting with Butt.

"It was a very positive meeting and hopefully now things are being sorted out," he said.
Sources said that as part of the deal with the board, Afridi will now appear before the board's disciplinary committee in Lahore on Thursday and tender an apology for his violation of the board's code of conduct.

In return, the board's committee is expected to impose a financial penalty on the all-rounder and issue him NOC's to play in lucrative foreign leagues.

Mandviwalla also confirmed that Afridi will appear before the disciplinary committee likely on Thursday.

"We didn't want to move court but were forced. Now, I hope Afridi will get the NOC (no-objection certificate) and will be able to play in England and Sri Lanka," he added.

Afridi has expressed his keeness to play for Hampshire in the English T20 domestic league where he has got a lucrative contract with the county which was suspended by the county after the PCB revoked all NOCs issued to Afridi as part of their disciplinary process against him.

The sources aware of the developments in the Afridi-PCB issue said the meeting was arranged on the insistence of some sitting Senators from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

"Two of the Senators belong to the Afridi tribe, i.e Abbas Khan Afridi and Haji Khan Afridi whom Shahid approached for help after the High Court at its hearing last week refused to issue orders to the PCB to give him a NOC to go abroad and play for Hampshire," one source said.

He said the Senators had contacted the President who is chief patron of the board in the matter but Asif Ali Zardari made it clear that while he was in favor of an out-of-court settlement he could not interfere in the working of the board's disciplinary procedure.

"It was after this that the Senators managed to convince the PCB chief to meet with Afridi and sort out the matter," the source said.

He said during the meeting at no stage did Butt discuss with Afridi his future as a Pakistan player and his present status quo remains as a retired player.

"Afridi is basically interested in getting the NOCs to go and play abroad and he used his connections in the Afridi clan to meet with the PCB Chairman," the source said.

The source said there was strong chances of the disciplinary committee holding its hearing tomorrow or Friday so that Afridi can leave for England as soon as possible.

"But a financial penalty is on the cards for the allrounder that is after he gives his acceptance statement. But there is little likelihood of any ban being imposed on him as he is now a retired player," the source said.

The source said the lawyers for Afridi had sent the PCB a letter confirming that the player was now ready to face the disciplinary committee at a short notice and also confirmed the withdrawal of their petition from the Sindh High Court.

"We have received the copy of the court order confirming withdrawal of the case by Afridi and also that he is ready to face the disciplinary committee now," a PCB official said.  

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