Statement controversy: PCB chief meets Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam in Kakul

Faizan Lakhani
Sohail Imran
Shaheen Afridi. —ICC
Shaheen Afridi. —ICC
  • Mohsin Naqvi meets players in Kakul.
  • PCB chief "extremely grateful" to army for arranging fitness camp.
  • Shaheen has been asked to "not speak" on statement issue.

LAHORE: In a damage-control move, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi held talks with Shaheen Shah Afridi to address his reservations over quotes attributed to him which he didn’t say, sources told Geo News.

Naqvi, who is also an interior minister, confirmed that he met the national team players in Kakul but did not disclose the details of the meeting.

"[I] Visited Army School of Physical Training in Kakul, Abbottabad to meet the national team players and to inspect the training being imparted to them," he wrote on his official X handle. 

"Extremely grateful to Pakistan Army, for arranging such a detailed and effective fitness camp in such a short span of time. Alhamdulillah I am highly Inspired by the incredible dedication and high spirits of the national team players," he added.

Statement controversy: PCB chief meets Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam in Kakul

The controversy surrounding Pakistan men’s team captaincy deepened further on Sunday when the board issued a statement announcing Babar Azam’s return as white-ball skipper that carried quotes from Shaheen as well.

This did not sit well with the pacer who was reportedly "furious" on the matter, the sources said.

“The former skipper had drafted a detailed rejoinder in this regard but was stopped at the last moment,” the sources said, adding that Afridi has been asked by the PCB to not speak on the matter.

The sources had said Shaheen, who was removed as captain unceremoniously after days of confusion, would share his “concerns” during the meeting with the PCB chief.

Naqvi was also expected to discuss the team’s future plans with Babar and Shaheen, the sources added.

Shaheen Afridi ‘extremely unhappy’

Earlier, sources close to Shaheen Afridi shared that the pacer was “extremely unhappy with the PCB” for releasing the statement without first speaking to him.

“Shaheen Afridi came to know about his quotes through social media and he was surprised that how come this is being broadcast everywhere,” they said.

“It was an absolute honour to captain the Pakistan National Cricket Team. I will always cherish the memories and the opportunity. As a team player, it is my duty to back our captain, Babar Azam. I have played under his captaincy and have nothing but respect for him. I will try to help him on and off the field. We are all one. Our aim is the same, to help Pakistan become the best team in the world,” Afridi was quoted in the PCB statement as saying.