x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Shahid Afridi blasts 'dishonourable' PCB

Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, leaves the path open for the former captain to return to the national team.

An angry Shahid Afridi announced his "conditional retirement" from international cricket, but Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, has left the path open for the former captain to return to the national team.

After being replaced as the side's limited-overs captain, Afridi pulled out of Pakistan's tour of Ireland but cited his father's ill health as the reason.

He then announced his retirement late Monday, in an angry response to being "humiliated by dishonourable people" within Pakistan cricket.

Butt fired Afridi, who guided Pakistan to the semi-final of the World Cup, as captain after a 3-2 limited-overs series victory in the West Indies. It was the ninth captaincy change in less than three years in which Butt has been the chairman, and the way it was handled angered Afridi.

"There is nothing bigger than a man's respect, and the way the board has treated me, there is a limit to everything," Afridi, 31, said in a televised interview.

"I will not play under this board. If a different board comes in, I will definitely return, but I cannot play under this board. When you have been humiliated like this, by dishonourable people, what is the point in playing on?

"The way I've been treated, the future doesn't look too good. I can't play under a board that doesn't respect its players. Because of this … this is a conditional retirement."

Butt, who claimed he had "very solid reasons" for removing Afridi from the captaincy, insisted Afridi was not forced out.

"To retire from cricket is Afridi's decision," Butt was quoted as saying. "We have not stopped Afridi from playing and the doors are open for him."

pradley@thenational.ae