Afridi, Pakistan Cricket Board to end rift

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Pakistan cricket and former captain Shahid Afridi appeared on course Tuesday for an out-of-court settlement after the suspended all-rounder met the board’s chairman.
Afridi went to court after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) punished him for allegedly breaching a code of conduct by announcing his retirement after he was dumped as one-day captain, and for levelling allegations against the board.
It suspended his central contract and revoked all his no-objection certificates (NOCs), in effect permission slips to play abroad.
The PCB confirmed that chairman Ijaz Butt and Afridi met in Islamabad. “At this stage the PCB will not make any further comments on the discussions that have been taking place,” it said.
One source privy to the meeting said government officials had stepped in to arrange the talks and Afridi had agreed to withdraw his court case, a second hearing of which is due on Thursday.
“Afridi met Butt in Islamabad for an hour,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“Afridi has promised to withdraw his case but is likely to appear before the disciplinary committee soon and as a result his NOCs will be revived.”
Afridi was replaced as one-day captain after publicly accusing coach Waqar Younis of undue meddling in the selection process for the team’s one-day series in the West Indies in April-May.
The PCB directed Afridi to appear before a disciplinary committee on June 8, but Afridi went to court last week, asking for his NOCs to be revived.
The court adjourned the disciplinary committee, asking the PCB to file a detailed reply in court on June 16, but upheld the decision to revoke his NOCs.
As a result, Afridi has been barred from playing for Hampshire in the ongoing Twenty20 league in England and his participation in next month’s inaugural Sri Lankan Premier League is under threat.
Mud-slinging between the PCB and the cricket star has heaped embarrassment on the national sport just as a World Cup semi-final place in March hinted at a brighter future for the game which has been dogged by spot-fixing scandals.

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