Babar Azam. (Photo Source: FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)
Pakistan got a major blow as they got knocked out of the Asia Cup 2023 after their loss to Sri Lanka by two wickets in the Super Fours stage of the competition. Following the disappointing outing of the team in the continental tournament, several reports emerged which claimed that captain Babar Azam came down heavily on his teammates and asked them to own up to their mistakes.
However, he was reportedly countered by Shaheen Afridi who asked him to recognise the performance of the players who performed exceptionally. The Pakistan skipper got further annoyed on being interrupted and lashed out at Afridi. Seeing the situation getting out of hand, Mohammad Rizwan had to intervene and mediate between the two. The reports of the alleged argument in the Pakistan dressing room spread like wildfire and even drew flak from their fans.
However, in a major development, a senior member of the team has come out to deny the reports of any altercation among the players in the dressing room. The player revealed that the team members only shared their thoughts in the meeting and quashed the reports as ‘negative speculations’.
“The team’s sole focus is on cricket, and we are not concerned about the critics. Losing a match gives our critics an opportunity to voice their opinions, but these are merely negative speculations,” the player was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“In the team meeting, everyone shared their thoughts, but there is no truth to the rumors of a verbal altercation or the coaching staff needing to intervene. Everyone left the meeting together, and many teammates travelled back to Pakistan on the same flight,” he added.
Pakistan marred by injuries ahead of World Cup 2023
Meanwhile, to make matters worse for Pakistantwo of their premier fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf have come down with injuries ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023. Naseem. Notably, Naseem got ruled out of the Asia Cup 2023 after incurring a shoulder injury during Super Four Clash vs India.
According to reports, the 20-year-old is likely to miss the entire World Cup. On the other hand, Haris Rauf is likely to recover in time from his side strain. The Babar Azam-led side will start their World Cup campaign on October 06 with a game against the Netherlands.