Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi dispelled the reports of an “internal rift” by sending a message of unity among them to the rumour-mongers.
The star trio were reportedly seen talking to each other in a pleasant mood ahead of the Afghanistan match on Monday.
According to a Daily Jang special correspondent, the three players were present in the dugout at the start of the Afghanistan match on Monday.
The report stated that Shaheen and Rizwan were sitting on Babar’s right and left respectively to show the unity among them amid reports of discord between the senior players of the team.
Some social media users had claimed that some players in the squad exchanged harsh words amid the poor performance of the team in the last couple of matches.
Pakistan have lost the last three matches putting their World Cup 2023 campaign at risk.
In response, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) “strongly” denied recent speculations about any internal discord in the national cricket team currently participating in World Cup 2023.
“Contrary to rumours circulated by a certain section of the media, the PCB unequivocally assures that the team is cohesive and there is no evidence to support these unsubstantiated claims,” the statement added.
The PCB further said that it is disappointed by the dissemination of this false news and emphasised the importance of upholding journalistic ethics before spreading such allegations.
Babar Azam dejected
The team is under fire after three consecutive losses against India, Australia and Afghanistan.
Skipper Babar Azam was visibly shaken in the post-match press conference and admitted: “We are hurt as a team”.
Afghanistan achieved their first-ever one-day victory over Pakistan in eight attempts as they chased down a 283-run target with an over to spare.
“We must feel the disappointment and my message to my team for the remaining matches will be to learn from this defeat,” said Azam, whose 74 off 95 balls aided by opener Abdullah Shafique´s 58 guided Pakistan to 282-7 after they won the toss and batted.
“We achieved what we set out to do when we batted but we were not up to the mark in bowling and fielding,” said Azam whose bowlers conceded 17 boundaries in the first 16 overs.
“We failed to put them under pressure but I congratulate Afghanistan for this victory.”