No factor of ‘players power’ in selection of Afridi: PCB Chief

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Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf said on Thursday that inclusion of veteran Shahid Afridi in the Pakistan One-day team does not mean promoting ‘players power’ as the all rounder made his way to the team on the recommendations of the national selectors.

“There is no factor of ‘players power’ in the selection of Afridi in the team currently on a tour of United Arab Emirates to play Sri Lanka in the One-day and T-20 matches and it were the national selectors who considered him based on his cricket talent and skills,” he told reporters here before a meeting with the heads of regional cricket associations at national cricket academy.

“I am against of players power and I will not tolerate it in our cricket set up and I will ensure that merit prevails and all the players are selected through a transparent process,” he asserted. He said he does not want to comment what has happened between the former chairman of the PCB, Ijaz Butt and Shahid Afridi, which stirred a controversy between them. When pressed on the similar issue he briefly said, “I think every chairman of the PCB takes decision for the betterment of cricket.”

Zaka Asrhaf praised the cricket skills and talent of Afirdi terming him a good player of One-day and T-20. He defended the selection of Pakistan team for the One-day internationals saying the selectors selected the team keeping in view the individual form of every player. He attributed the recent victories of Pakistan team in Hong Kong super sixes, Test series against Sri Lanka and SARRC U-25 cricket tournament to collective team efforts and prayers of the nation and support of the PCB. “These are quite encouraging performance on part of our teams which performed in different versions of the game,” he said.

“I am delighted the way our team is performing and its recent achievement (winning test series against Lanka) is good for the cause of our national cricket and I am confident that our team will maintain the flow of victories by rising to the occasion in the one-day series against Sri Lanka,” he added.

Chairman PCB said the spot fixing scandal and conviction of three Pakistan players, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir by a British court has tainted the image of Pakistan cricket world-wide, which is very unfortunate. He said he would do something for families of the punished trio who were the best players of the country.

He vowed to join hands with games ruling body, the ICC to supplement its efforts for purging corruption from cricket. “PCB wants to play an active role in supporting ICC on this issue and we have asked the ICC to include PCB in spot fixing probe in future,” said the Chairman PCB.

He said he would raise the issue of corruption in cricket during his visit to Dubai and will have meetings with the authorities of ICC and heads of Indian and Bangladesh cricket boards. “There is dire need to have close co-ordination among all the cricket boards of the world to stamp out corruption from cricket,” he added. He pointed out that PCB has started on having better relations with the different cricket boards and letters expressing goodwill have been written to various Boards.

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