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Reports: PCB to reconsider player social media policy post Azam, Afridi’s ‘X’ appearances

In a surprising turn of events, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed discontent with former captain Babar Azam and current national T20 captain Shaheen Shah Afridi for their recent fan interaction sessions on the social media platform ‘X’.

Both players, undoubtedly popular among fans, engaged in Q&A sessions on ‘X,’ drawing significant participation. Babar Azam’s session saw an impressive turnout with over 20,000 fans, while Shaheen Shah Afridi’s managed around 4,000 participants. However, the PCB appears to be less than pleased with this development.

A source within the PCB revealed that the decision to organise these social media sessions was not well-received by the cricket board, especially given that they were seemingly arranged by the players’ agents.

“The PCB will look to revisit some of the clauses that the centrally contracted players need to adhere to,” the source said, as quoted by Times of India.

Concerns are being raised regarding the potential for these public Q&A sessions to spark unnecessary controversies. The ongoing discord between the PCB and players regarding social media usage and NOCs for foreign T20 leagues has been a point of contention since the previous year.

“The clauses covering the social media activities of contracted players are now being reviewed again by the board because it is concerned such public Q and A sessions could result in unnecessary controversies,” he added.

The newly appointed Chairman is now seeking details about central contracts

Complicating matters further is the turnover in PCB leadership, with a fourth Chairman taking charge since December 2022. The source stated that this leadership change has led to a lack of clarity between players, their agents, and the board.

“Every PCB chairman has tried to run the board in his own way and in some cases, even ignored the written clauses of the central contracts and given special permissions to players in the past 12 months,” the source added.

Newly appointed Chairman Mohsin Naqvi is now seeking details about central contracts, along with transcripts of player interviews and social media content from the last few months.

“Naqvi clearly wants a revised media policy for players and for this, the PCB could revise some clauses of the central contracts,” concluded the source. 

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