Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has banned left-arm spinner Asif Afridi for two years for violating the anti-corruption code. Afridi was part of the National T20 Cup winning team, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PCB also suspects two more players and a coach of breaching the code of conduct, while one coaching staff member is believed to have been involved in suspicious activities.
Afridi previously represented Rawalakot Hawks in the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), and the organizers had concerns about his behavior from the start of the tournament. Despite these concerns, the PCB allowed Afridi to continue playing so they could further investigate the matter.
In a rain-affected match against Jammu Janbaz, Afridi gave up 35 runs and took only one wicket. He was being monitored in the match against Kotli, where he gave up 52 runs without taking a wicket. This led the event organizers to hold discussions with the PCB anti-corruption unit.
A Test cricketer had first raised a complaint against Afridi last year, stating that he had offered to join the Bangladesh League during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. In some matches, Afridi also indicated that he was going to play for someone else. The cricketer, who called himself Amin, refused the offer and reported the matter to the PCB.
Afridi's name had already been included in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) draft, and he was selected by Multan Sultans. However, by the time the reports of Afridi's suspicious behavior started circulating, he had not been given a chance to play in the first eight matches. The PCB didn't take any action, and Afridi was included in the last five games, where he took eight wickets at an average of 15.50.
Despite the ban, the PCB allowed Afridi to play in the Afghanistan T20 League and the Kashmir Premier League (KPL). Some players and officials with strong connections managed to escape punishment. The PCB management stated that the case was under the notice of previous board officials and no evidence of wrongdoing was found during their investigation.