This is reference to long overdue retirement of once popular and inform cricketer Shahid Afridi nicknamed by his fans as Boom Boom, whose age and antics have become as controversial as that of Meera. All good things must come to an end or else need to be surgically removed. For a man who cannot differentiate between an apple and a cricket ball and who instead of enforcing discipline within team, as was once hallmark of national cricket team captains like Hafeez Kardar, Majid Jehangir, Imran khan etc he has often been associated with indiscipline on-field and off-field. It is time for him to bow out gracefully, instead of being forced out. Winning and losing is part of sports but falling like lame ducks is another matter.

Cricket called gentleman’s game has become involved in controversies because of greed and indiscipline of few players with no honor. A captain must lead by example, working in cooperation with team coach planning strategies, not getting involved in needless controversies. Cricket has done Shahid Afridi a lot of good, both financially and otherwise and it is time for him to show dignity and grace. Sportsmen assuming role of captains must not be seen as biased involved in groupings but must serve as role models making decisions on merit. Had PCB succumbed to reaction of few senior players who themselves have not been free of controversies, the selection of Amir might not have taken place. Player power must never be allowed to prevail, but for that you need a powerful independent PCB, not one dominated by octogenarians and political nominees.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, February 27.