Afridi, as I see him

Published: June 8, 2011

Tribune bloggers present their for and against views on the clash between Shahid Afridi and the PCB. DESIGN: SAMAD SIDDIQUI

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.

Amna Lone

Amna Lone

A sub-editor for The Express Tribune’s editorial pages.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Saad

    Go LALA go ! We are with you !Recommend

  • Fahad

    haha LOVE the illustration! why don’t you give credit for the illustrations Recommend

  • Sarah Farrukh

    Please Change the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Mafia and Save Pakistan Cricket Board….

    <( The Habibies Voice )>Recommend

  • Gohar

    Dear Writter;
    I think you’d not enough knowledge and you are only learning from the report presented ON MEDIA.
    SINCE he was appointed as a captain there is a lobby who went against it from the day one, but he managed and remains keep quite, than comes retirement from Test which now every one realise is the wise decision. Than series after series he was improving but suddenly came a statment from Board during SAF series that he’s appointed on a series to series basis. Is that the way to appoint your captain is there any vision and what you can expect from a captain but still Team performs well.
    Waqar younis blames him that last two matches lost in carribean was due to his impotent captaincy than who takes the credit of winning?
    For everyone’s knowledge He has a good and higher WIN/LOSS ratio than previous four captains and a reasonable World cup outing. An impotent captain can do this??
    Actually Intikhab Alam and Waqar Younis belongs to the same lobby and group who wanted to remove him from Captaincy so that they will be able to Continue there Match fixing Aims. You may ask question on his competency but you can’t ask questions on his Dignity and you’ll see he’ll rise to the occasionRecommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    A very interesting way to show the two sides of an issue.

    Yes, Afridi was a bit immature in making everything public without thinking of the consequences but removing him from the captaincy without a reason was simply undigestable.

    As for blaming Afridi for the loss of last two match in West Indies is concerned, Pakistan last the 4th match because of D/L regulations and captain shouldn’t be blamed for it. Last match was a disaster and yes captain should be somewhat responsible for that loss. But still that is not reason enough (if that was the reason, which it wasn’t for it is very clear the only reason he was removed was that Ijaz Butt and he didn’t see eye to eye on issues) to remove a man who was able to bring all the players under one roof and if he had been given the opportunity would have molded the team in to a very strong unit. And the way he was removed was still the more shocking. You remove him from captaincy and then have the nerve to include him as the 16th player in the squad?Recommend

  • Nabil

    We should support the man (LaLa) who has dared to take the bull (PCB) by it’s horns.
    Love the illustration!Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana, Lahore.

    I agree with the author there is no point in washing the dirty laundry in public!! A great player should end it with grace! Recommend

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,Karachi

    Ms Loner or shall I say the odd one out from IBA: When has Afridi ever shown poise worthy to be respected! Just have a look at his body language how he talks etc and I will bet you will appreciate what I say.Recommend

  • Iqbal

    Afridi is the most undisciplined player in the world. Tampering with ball and pitch, he did not do enough justice to his talent. When you compare with Dhoni, Afridi draws big zero.

    After Imran Khan, our team never had a good captain. We should keep our religion to our-self and stop saying Insha-allah!!! Allah Tala in professional media conferences and man-of-the match ceremonies. Pakistan should behave as a professional team. Meticulous planning, impeccable discipline and hardwork is the only way to achieve success in this world. Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed

    First of all those people should be investigated who discovered and selected a below average B class player and pushed him to play over three hundred one day international matches, and if that was not enough, they made him also captain of the team .Recommend

  • Mirza

    I agree with the following statement by the great Zaheer Abbas. ZA was a titan compared to each player in the team, assuming Younus and yousuf are out. The difference is like Imran Khan, ZA, Majid Khan and others were highly educated gentlemen. Even Imran Khan did not try to politicize the team or game while he was still a player. On the other hand Afridi is the only player in the world who is caught chewing the ball, digging the wicket and other unethical and immoral things. He loves to hear himself on every topic and does not follow discipline and it shows in his batting. As a captain his batting has become even worse as there is nobody to control him. No wonder public like this rebel. But cricket is a sport and not a popularity contest. I would end with the following statement by a great man.

    “It’s very unfortunate that this dispute has ended up in court,” said Zaheer. “It’s just a minor issue but has been blown out of proportion. PCB just wants the player to be disciplined.”Recommend

  • Muhammad HAssan Yahya

    Ahhh The IDEAL APPROACH!!! PHEW! 6 Captain changed in IJAZ bUTT’s regime, and still we want is the ideal approach??

    DOnt u think the others tried tht approach and failed miserably?Recommend

  • shaolin

    Though i am Indian I can tell easily. Pak lost semifinals to india because of Misbah defensive batting which put other players into presuure otherwise there was good chance pak would have won and there was no doubt pak would have won world cup.
    may be to defame afridi this was the game played by PCB through misbah and waqar .
    now govt should put inquiry into this matterRecommend

  • Tribune Reader

    Boom Boom Afridi!!!!!!
    We still love you Lala, and we Hate Ejaz Butt, if any one should go anywhere, it is Ejaz Butt into permanent exile from which there is no return, I swear he is trying to prove how to destroy Pakistan cricket with incompetence, just look at the blunders that have happened during Ejaz Butt’s time, the Fat Butt has got to go (pun intended). They should make Mohsin Khan or Wasim Bari PCB Chairman. Recommend

  • zinzi

    what sort of moderation do you guys do? this guy Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,Karachi is impersonating someone (the real one keeps telling people its not him) plus he is getting personal with the author and his comments are irrelevant. you guys need to ban such people.Recommend

  • Bilal

    I think the opinion of someone who has played cricket or captained a team would carry more weight in this matter.Recommend

  • hassan

    I just can’t understand this Afridi fixation the public has. He just is worthy of such fan following.

    Look at his performance over the years. The adulation the fans has for him is disproportionate to his achievements as a cricketer. In his long career, what has he got to show? He had just one good World Cup (as a bowler) and his fans are saying he is the best thing in Pakistan cricket. Cmon gimme a break !!

    As a batsman, he is like a christmas present to the bowler. The fielding side knows he is going to throw his bat around and will get out any moment.

    And not to forget his pitch-spiking incident. The way he was biting a ball….even in Zimbabwe, cricket fans would not tolerated that kind of cheap behavior from their captain.

    Anyone who has played cricket knows, captain of a team is someone respected, and obeyed instinctively. Because, a cricket captain is supposed to have something which others don’t have. He is a great player and thinker of the game.

    Can you imagine Flintoff biting the ball? Can you imagine players like Vettori or Strauss or Dilshan or Mahela do something to bring shame to their country or their fans? Can you imagine Asif Iqbal or Mushtaq Mohammed resigning from test captaincy (after a defeat) during middle of tour and leaving by next plane out of country?

    I mean, are cricket-lovers of this country are so starved of heroes that they have to clutch at whatever they get?

    Afridi is a good and sometime effective slogger. His test and ODI performances are just average.And for the last 3 years, he has been a good bowler. That’s it. Don’t glorify him too much. It’s an insult to other great players who have graced the cricket field.Recommend

  • Mohummad Ali

    salam first of all i give to afridi and my all muslim bro and i’m slout to boom boom i love you very much or ap bus ap awaz othao hum inshallah apke sath hein or in maa ki ………………… ab me ider kuch keh nai sakta so plz we are always your’s ok you dn b worry about any thing
    love u dill se dill tak you not know pathanooo ki jaan ho ap i love afridi

    Allah hafizRecommend

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,Karachi

    Why dont you mind your own business. Zinzi what does the name mean anyways?Recommend

  • Muhammad HAssan Yahya


    dude just get ur facts rite! when u say tht vettori or flintoff or mahela dilshan and others cant do anything to bring shame to their country, DO U THINK THT EVEN THEY CAN MATCH AFRIDI’S FAN FOLLOWING???


    The records he posseses, the fame he has brought to our country??? DONT U SEE THT???
    U remember ball biting, pitch tampering! FOR UR KIND INFO, I CAN SHOW U MANY VIDEOS OF OTHER PLAYERS DOING THE SAME! its just that afridi was caught! and he has got many people who are jealous of him, thats y they just wait on for afridi’s one mistake!!Recommend

  • Ali

    Tit for tat, Afridi deserves this as he is overconfident.Recommend

  • OmerJawed

    I thing Afridi is the one who is to be blamed.He breached Central Contract and Code of Conduct and PCB acted in a just way.Recommend

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,Karachi

    Afridi is a thick head. Pak is better without him. N Ms Loner: Pls get a life I know at IBA you didnt have one ;)Recommend

  • sana

    i really wish people who started following cricket during the world cup would stop making moral judgments on the issue.

    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

    He’s been trying the behind-the-doors approach for a year. He knows the board has been after hi captaincy for a while. Even the chief selector had issues with the coach’s interference in selection matters and threatened to reveal all in a press conference he had already called, only to be reigned in and placated by the chairman at the last minute. Please open your eyes.Recommend

  • Sikander Shaikh

    unfortunately i have taken more than a week to reach to the topic… with regards to PEPCO…
    I would like to suggest the writer to 1st up come with valid and mature data to prove any thing… second thing abt the comments… mostly mixed up…
    There is no doubt Afridi is big name in the world of cricket… so PCB and him should have handle all this with care… even the conditions were so critical… but i would definitely blame Mr IJAZ BUTT.. who has been the agenda to remove the cricket from pakistan… with the big help of BCCI the neighbor board, but yet they have to take some more steps to achieve that goal… as we all know IJAZ BUTT and previous chairman NASEEM AKHTAR sb they both guys have really done well… i think we should now look fwd for KABADI aur KUSHTI to watch in leisure time.. bcoz Hockey and Cricket are almost in thier coffins and waiting last nails to be hooked… and Football is not the game we can rely in near future… so let Go for KUSHTI and KABADI…. Recommend

  • waqas

    listen guys Afridi as well as ejaz but both are thieves so that they resolve the problem out side the court You think afridi was a great player i admitt this . but this not just about game and these two people this is the issue for Pakistan …….. so beware about these thieves and dnt support afridi just be a true pakistani and screw those who are against Pakistan and doing their own politics with the country …….. i love my Pakistan …. i think the NOC should not be given to afridi….. thats all……..Recommend