Turbulence within the Pakistan cricket team’s dressing room is a recurring issue, and once again, discord has surfaced within the squad just ahead of the World Cup. Pakistan’s preparations for the tournament have been marred by controversy and reports of internal conflicts.
Not too long ago, Pakistan was considered a strong contender for the World Cup, with their campaign progressing smoothly. However, things have taken a downturn in the past week. It all began with a devastating 228-run defeat against India in the Asia Cup. During that match, key players like Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Agha Salman sustained injuries and were subsequently unavailable for the crucial match against Sri Lanka.
Naseem Shah’s injury has cast doubt on his participation in the World Cup, as he is unlikely to recover in time due to a shoulder injury. Pakistan’s campaign in the Asia Cup came to an early end when they lost to Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage. Reports emerged following the elimination, suggesting that captain Babar Azam and star bowler Shaheen Afridi engaged in a heated exchange in the dressing room.
According to reports in the Pakistani media, Babar Azam was confronting players in the dressing room after the defeat, and Shaheen Afridi voiced his dissatisfaction. However, the situation was diffused by Mohammad Rizwan’s intervention.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed surprise and concern over the leaks from the dressing room. As per reports in Cricket Pakistan, opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq is now under scrutiny for his alleged involvement in leaking confidential information from the dressing room. The PCB could take disciplinary action against Imam if he is found guilty.
PCB officials are also reportedly perplexed by Imam-ul-Haq’s untimely fitness issues during crucial matches. In the Asia Cup, he posted scores of 5, 78, and 9 before missing the pivotal encounter against Sri Lanka. The report further indicates that conflicts related to central contracts may have affected the players’ performance.
Pakistan is now striving to regain their composure ahead of the upcoming World Cup. The Men in Green, who last won the World Cup in 1992, are eager to make a strong bid for the title. The World Cup is scheduled to take place from October 5 to November 19.
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