Shahid Afridi - rightly - denied the send-off he thinks he deserves: Cricket talking points

Osman Samiuddin lays out the storylines of note this week in world cricket, including the Pakistan board telling Shahid Afridi he'll get no good-bye tour from them.
Shahid Afridi shown during the Asia Cup T20 tournament earlier this year in Dhaka. Munir uz Zaman / AFP
Shahid Afridi shown during the Asia Cup T20 tournament earlier this year in Dhaka. Munir uz Zaman / AFP

Below, Osman Samiuddin outlines the talking points in cricket this week:

No Afridi goodbye

It seems as if the sizeable Pathan population in the UAE might have to wait till the Pakistan Super League (PSL) next February for a glimpse of Shahid Afridi in action.

Over the years of Pakistan’s exile in the UAE, Afridi has become a hugely popular crowd-puller in the country, capable of filling up stadiums on his own. Since being replaced by Sarfraz Ahmed as Pakistan’s T20 captain, however, Afridi has been in virtual retirement. Of late, reportedly, he has been angling for one final return to the side so that he can be accorded a fitting farewell in the arenas of some of his greatest moments.

Not happening, the Pakistan board confirmed this week and, it has to be said, it is only right. Afridi’s value to the side has long receded and nobody gets to choose how they go, not even the king of retirements.

Goodbye Simmons

It never looked like it was going to last but there will still surely be sadness in some parts of the Caribbean at the sacking of Phil Simmons as West Indies coach.

The polite version had the board identifying “differences in culture and strategic approach.” In reality, this was always a tumultuous pairing, especially because Simmons was unafraid to speak his mind about the administration’s shortcomings. Test results, admittedly, were poor: nine losses in 14 Tests. But he did play a part in the World T20 triumph and was popular with the players. And if there is any doubt about where the problem lies in West Indian cricket there should be no longer. Since the World T20, three key pillars of the team management – former captain Darren Sammy, bowling consultant Curtly Ambrose and now Simmons – have gone.

It’s the board, stupid.

IPL trouble brewing?

On Sunday, the president of the Indian board, Anurag Thakur announced what everyone suspected was coming – an open tender process to find a broadcaster for the next set of IPL’s TV rights.

The current set of rights, held by Sony TV, end at the end of the next season. By itself there is nothing wrong with this; in fact, it adheres to a court-imposed demand to be transparent in its commercial dealings. Except that, according to reports, the existing contract with Sony stipulates that the broadcaster has the right to make a first offer on the next set of rights.

In that light, an open tender is unlikely to leave Sony especially happy about the situation. Legal recourse cannot be ruled out, which ultimately means that the world’s most lucrative cricket league will continue to be embroiled in high-profile controversies as it enters a second decade.

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Published: September 18, 2016 04:00 AM


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