Belligerent Shahid Afridi tears apart PCB chairman on live TV
By News Desk
November 1, 2023 11:53 AM
Former captain and masterblaster Shahid Afridi lost his cool during a live TV broadcast and slammed PCB chief Zaka Ashraf after Babar Azam's alleged personal chats were leaked.
The Babar Azam-led Pakistan side made a strong comeback beating Bangladesh by seven wickets in a World Cup 2023 match on Tuesday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata but off-the-field controversies continue to surround them.
Their already indifferent campaign - Pakistan have lost four matches and won only three so far and their semi-final hopes still hang in balance - went more sour after the alleged leaked chat between the skipper and PCB's Chief Operating Officer, Salman Naseer.
The episode began after Pakistan endured a string of losses – four in a row following which rumours emerged of Babar getting sacked from captaincy.
The multiple statements that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) released in between did not help their cause. In fact, it only gave an indication that all is not well in Pakistan cricket.
While this was still hot, former captain Rashid Latif added more fuel to the fire and made a bold claim that Pakistan cricketers were not getting paid for five months, and the PCB is not returning Babar’s calls.
This then led to a TV news channel airing a screenshot, claiming it was between Babar and Naseer. In the screenshot, Naseer tried to check with Babar if he tried to get in touch with the current chairman Zaka Ashraf.
The personal exchange between Babar and the PCB official has been condemned by former cricketers. While Waqar Younis called it “pathetic” on social media, Shahid Afridi urged not to defame the nation.
“It is a shameful move. We are defaming our nation ourselves. We are defaming our players ourselves. How can you leak someone's private messages, that too of captain Babar Azam? Earlier, it was being said that the chairman was called a few times,” Afridi said on another TV channel.
"I saw Rashid Latif reporting that there is a tiff between Babar Azam and Zaka Ashraf. Babar was calling him but he wasn't answering. I think to counter those reports, this was done but it is uncalled for. The manner in which this was leaked in the media. I think Shoaib Jatt (A Pakistani journalist) brought it up. Why did he do so? Did the chairman ask him to do so?" the former captain went on to add. Even if the chairman has done this, I am sorry to say but this is a pathetic act," he said.
While all this was happening, the TV channel anchor Waseem Badami revealed that it was PCB chief Zaka Ashraf who provided them with the screenshot of Babar's alleged personal chat and asked them to show it on live TV.
In a fresh episode aired on Tuesday, Shahid Afridi, while replying to a fan query, lashed out at the PCB chief.
“Zaka Ashraf sahab kisi club k chairman nahi hai. Woh PCB ke chairman hai. (Zaka Ashraf is not running a club. He's the chairman of PCB). He should keep a lot of things in mind. You are calling the owners of a media house and saying that somebody is saying things about you. For God's sake, do your job. Deliver what is expected from you. They are talking about you because you are giving them the chance. Just do your job. The team is playing the World Cup and you are giving one statement after another. Sometimes you are talking about Babar, and sometimes about another player or support staff. For starters, get a hold of your chair and try to fulfil what is expected from you. Focus on the problems that need to be addressed. Forget about what is being said about you. Just do your job, Zaka Ashraf sahab,” an agitated Afridi said.