Afridi to return for hearing amid massive fanfare

June 5th, 2011 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, June 5 (IANS) Hundreds of Shahid Afridi’s fans have started to assemble at the Karachi airport to receive the former captain who returns home from London to resolve his bitter dispute with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Afridi’s fans, together with local cricket organisers, were planning to take out a rally Sunday night in a bid to put pressure on the government to bring about sweeping changes in the PCB and reinstate Afridi as Pakistan’s One-day captain.

Afridi was sacked after the One-day series against the West Indies that Pakistan won 3-2. Afridi, who spearheaded Pakistan to the World Cup semifinals in March, spoke about differences within the team management after returning from the Caribbean. The PCB responded by sacking him as the captain.

Ten days later, Afridi lambasted the PCB for its “ill-treatment” towards him, after which the Board suspended his central contract. It also revoked all NOCs granted to Afridi, meaning that the all-rounder was stopped from featuring in the ongoing English Twenty20 event for Hampshire.

The Board has summoned Afridi to appear Wednesday before its three-man disciplinary committee in Lahore. There are indications that Afridi might boycott the hearing. But a formal announcement will only be made by the player when he addresses a press conference at the Karachi Press Club Monday.

All arrangements have been made to give Afridi a tumultuous welcome on his arrival in Karachi. His fans have erected giant hoardings in praise of the all-rounder.

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