PCB, Shaheen Afridi hold crisis talks after statement furor | Top Vip News

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Pakistan’s captaincy saga has been plunged into fresh crisis, with Shaheen Afridi believed to be furious over a statement on the PCB website that contained quotes attributed to him that he did not say. ESPNcricinfo understands that Afridi was close to making a statement to this effect, but the PCB has held emergency talks with him. Another hastily arranged meeting with PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi will take place on Monday.
It is understood that Afridi, who is not at all impressed by the way he has been treated throughout the captaincy U-turn, was not asked by the PCB to provide a statement for use in a press release. However, a few hours after Babar Azam was re-elected captain, a press release was published in which Shaheen pledged full support to Babar Azam as captain and stated that it was “an honour” to lead Pakistan.

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

Afridi is understood to have contributed nothing to that statement, and this latest outburst is set to further inflame tensions in a Pakistan camp where unity has been severely tested by the PCB’s repeated changes of mind regarding the national captaincy The situation was clear for Afridi since Naqvi refused to endorse him at a press conference in Lahore on Sunday, saying a decision would be taken at that time after he finished training camp with the army in Pakistan. But it seems that the decision to fire him was already about to be made.

It is understood that Shaheen does not believe it has been fully made clear to him why he was replaced in the first place and is frustrated by the lack of communication from the PCB. And the PCB’s attempt to quell any lingering resentment by issuing a statement in which both Babar and Shaheen exchanged warm words has only resulted in fanning the flames.

The manner in which Shaheen has returned the captaincy to Babar will inevitably strain relations between arguably Pakistan cricket’s two biggest stars. The pair have enjoyed close relationships over the years, with Shaheen offering public support for Babar’s captaincy last year at a time when she was perceived to be under threat.

But now Afridi’s discontent has meant that the PCB has been forced to go into damage control mode and will have to look for the least combustible way out of this uncomfortable situation. Naqvi and the PCB are expected to try to placate him and dispel any simmering resentment over the whole matter, although how successfully they will achieve this remains to be seen.

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