I don’t like or care much for Shahid Afridi, but I think every person has the right to freely practice his trade. For those not following this latest dispute between the Pakistan Cricket Board and its players, here’s the skinny: the PCB removed Afridi as Pakistan’s ODI captain. Afridi retired in protest. He then criticized the PCB on television. The PCB then canceled Afridi’s central contract and revoked his No-Objection-Certificate (NOC).
Until that last step, I confess I did not care much about this story. But the NOC — a curious subcontinental legal term — determines if Afridi will be able to play for Hampshire or not, making the PCB’s move especially cruel and vindictive. Afridi now has some lawyers on the case, who are arguing for a hearing on the NOC. They say it’s a simple case of natural justice, and I agree — every agency’s decision should be open to appeal or a hearing.
So, here are some questions: 1) How pervasive is the use/revocation of the NOC? It seems like such a bureaucratic hassle, but I could not find definitive information from Google. 2) What is to stop a cricket board from simply revoking the NOC every time it is angry with a particular player? (See here for an excerpt of the ICC’s NOC rules.)