Pakistan cricket team divided into three groups; captain Babar Azam unable to reunite players: Reports

The Pakistan cricket team has been reportedly divided into three groups, with several senior players unhappy with the captaincy change. The 2009 T20 World Champions got knocked out of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 after a poor campaign in the United States of America. The Men in Green recorded an embarrassing Super Over defeat to the debutants in their season opener before another defeat against India. 

Babar Azam-led side won their third match, against Ireland, but eventually got eliminated from the tournament. After Pakistan’s poor campaign and early exit, several reports of ‘groupings’ in the team along with the underperformance of senior players started doing rounds. According to the PCB sources, the biggest challenge that Azam faced was to unite the team which he couldn’t do because of the groupings. 

As per the reports, former skipper and star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was upset at losing the captaincy. Not only this, but rumours of Mohammad Rizwan being unhappy at not being considered for the captaincy also made it to the news. 

There are three groups in the Pakistan team: Reports

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

“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.” 

As per a PCB official, Chairman Mohsin Naqvi was aware of the problems in the team even before the ICC tournament. He said, “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.”

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