Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has dismissed allegations that left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi is paying for the UK trip to treat his injured knee from his own pocket. The former Pakistan captain asserted that players are the most important stakeholders for the cricket board.
A massive controversy broke out after former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi claimed that Shaheen was spending money from his own pocket on his accommodation, food, and other expenses in the UK. Speaking to Samaa TV, he said:
“When I talk about Shaheen.. that guy went to England on his own. He bought his own ticket, he spent his own money to stay in a hotel. I arranged a doctor for him, then he contacted the doctor. PCB is not doing anything, he was doing that on his own.”
During a Q&A session on PCB’s official YouTube channel on Friday, September 16, a cricket fan requested clarification from Raja over the controversy. The chairman replied:
“How can you even think that PCB can disown Shaheen Afridi? It is beyond my understanding. It’s an unfortunate controversy. When Mohammad Rizwan fell ill during the T20 World Cup last year, our doctors panel went out of their way to ensure he played the final. Players are the most important stakeholders for us."
“They must have been some issue with regard to his accommodation or hotel room, but we have definitely not left Shaheen in the lurch.”
Reacting to Shahid's allegations, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram commented that if the claims are true, then PCB’s behavior is really shocking. He opined that Shaheen should have straightaway been sent to the best knee surgeon in the world.
“Look at what’s happening with India” - Ramiz Raja explains why he is against making too many changes
During the Q&A session, the PCB chief was also asked why he is averse to making changes to the current Pakistan squad. Giving the example of the Indian cricket team, Raja replied:
“Look at what’s happening with India. They are constantly changing players and losing games. I have privately spoken to 2-3 of their superstars and they are very frustrated that the team is not getting settled. In comparison, our team is a well-settled outfit and we make changes only when needed.”
There has been a massive backlash in Pakistan since the squad for the T20 World Cup was announced. Fans as well as a number of former cricketers from the country have questioned the lack of changes in batting despite their struggles in the Asia Cup.
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