Shaheen, Rizwan unhappy with Babar Azam taking over as captain, Haris Rauf accused of underperformance as Pakistan rocked by internal unrest

Published - 15 Jun 2024, 05:43 PM | Updated - 15 Jun 2024, 05:45 PM

Babar Azam, Pakistan
Babar Azam, Pakistan (Credits: X)

Pakistan's hopes of winning the ongoing T20 World Cup ended on Friday (June 14) after USA's game against Ireland was washed out. Thanks to the washout, USA joined Team India in the Super 8s from Group A.

Pakistan's chances of advancing to the next stage looked almost over after they lost their opening two games while India and USA won theirs. After India won their third game as well against the USA, Pakistan needed the latter to lose the fourth group game too against Ireland to have any chance of making it to the next stage.

However, rain dashed their hopes and dumped them out of the T20 World Cup. Even if Pakistan go on to win their last group game against Ireland, it won't make any difference to their fortunes. They will now be looking to defeat Ireland and end their campaign in the ninth edition of the T20 World Cup on a winning note.

Internal unrest in the Pakistan team:

Pakistan are struggling not only on the field but all is not well inside the dressing room as well, according to reports. According to a report in PTI, the unceremonious exit from the T20 World Cup has triggered discussions about internal "groupings" within the team and the underperformance of senior players during crucial moments.

The report stated that the issues could prompt big changes not only in the Pakistan team but within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as well. After Babar Azam was reinstated as the captain earlier this year, his main challenge was to unify the team. However, he failed to live up to the expectations.

As per the report, Shaheen Afridi was not happy over being sacked as the captain and was also disappointed with Babar's lack of support. Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan was not happy as well, as he wanted to be new T20I captain.

"There are three groups in the team, one led by Babar Azam, the second one by Shaheen Shaheen Afridi and the third one by Muhammad Rizwan. Add to this mix the return of seniors like Muhammad Aamir and Imad Wasim and the recipe was ready for a World Cup disaster," a source close to the team told PTI.

"The return of Imad and Amir added to the confusion as it was difficult for Babar to get any worthwhile performances from both of them as they had not played top level domestic or international cricket for a long while now except in franchise based leagues.

"There were even instances where some players were not talking to each other and a few of them even tried to appease all the group leaders in the team," added the source.

Pakistan stars accused of underperforming:

A senior PCB official said that board chairman Mohsin Naqvi was well aware of the problems in the team and tried to sort things out. He held private meetings with the players and urged them to keep their differences aside but it did not make any difference. The official also accused some players of underperforming intentionally and cited the example of Haris Rauf's failure to defend 14 runs in the final over against the USA.

"Naqvi held two meetings with all the players in private and gave them pep talks asking them to put their issues aside and focus on winning the World Cup and he would remove all misgivings in the team later on but apparently things didn't work out.

“I am not defending Babar but what is a captain supposed to do when your premier bowler can't even defend 15 in the final over against a weak USA side and concedes a boundary and six on full tosses. Or when an all-rounder brought out of retirement to help win the World Cup sits out with fitness issues," he said.



Pakistan national cricket team ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Babar Azam Shaheen Afridi Mohammad Rizwan