Pakistan Cricket Team in Shambles: Shaheen Shah vs Babar Azam Divides Team into Factions

After an apparent altercation between captain Babar Azam and pacer Shaheen Afridi, the Pakistan cricket team seems divided in two groups at present.

In the high-stakes world of cricket, where teamwork and camaraderie are paramount, a rift within a team can spell disaster. Pakistan’s cricket team is currently facing such a situation, with just a month left before the ODI World Cup. The team’s preparations have taken a massive hit as reports of a bitter exchange between skipper Babar Azam and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi have emerged, dividing the dressing room into factions.

Pakistan Cricket Team in Shambles: Shaheen Shah vs Babar Azam Divides Team into Factions

The Incident that Shook the Team

The reported exchange between Babar Azam and Shaheen Shah Afridi took place in the aftermath of Pakistan’s heart-wrenching last-ball defeat to Sri Lanka on Thursday, September 14. This agonizing loss not only ended Pakistan’s Asia Cup campaign but also laid bare the simmering tensions within the team.

According to multiple news agencies, after the defeat, Babar Azam admonished the players, expressing his dissatisfaction with their performance, and lamenting their lack of responsibility on the field. A win in that game could have catapulted Pakistan into the final against arch-rivals India, but they fell agonizingly short.

In response to Babar’s criticism, Shaheen Shah Afridi retorted, “At least appreciate those who bowled and batted well.” This sharp retort from the fast bowler further fueled the fire. Babar Azam, not one to back down, responded with, “I know who’s performing well.”

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Although this heated exchange did not escalate into a physical altercation, it left an indelible mark on the team’s morale and unity. It was only thanks to the intervention of senior wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Rizwan that the mini-spat was brought under control.

The Asia Cup had already proven to be a tough outing for Pakistan. The nadir came in the Super Four stage, where they suffered their most significant ODI defeat to India, a staggering 228-run loss. This resounding defeat against their arch-rivals set the tone for the rest of their campaign.

While they managed to secure wins against Nepal and Bangladesh, they found themselves facing another nightmare against Sri Lanka. The loss to Sri Lanka not only ended their Asia Cup journey but also highlighted the cracks within the team.

Naseem Shah’s Unfortunate Injury

Adding to Pakistan’s woes, young pacer Naseem Shah is likely to miss the entire ICC World Cup 2023 in India due to a shoulder injury. Scans in Dubai revealed the extent of the injury to be more severe than initially anticipated. It’s now expected that Naseem Shah may be sidelined for an extended period, possibly for the rest of the year.

Naseem Shah’s injury came at a particularly unfortunate time, just when Pakistan’s cricket team appeared to be hitting its stride heading into the World Cup. This setback has further compounded the team’s woes and left them grappling with uncertainties and divisions.

As Pakistan attempts to regroup and refocus with the World Cup on the horizon, the team’s ability to bridge the internal divides and rediscover its cohesion will be paramount. The cricketing world will watch closely as they navigate these turbulent waters on the path to the ODI World Cup 2023.

IPL 2024

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