azhar mahmood
Rumors of a rift between captain Babar Azam and Shaheen Shah Afridi surfaced after Wasim Akram criticized the team’s poor performance, which Azhar Mahmood has now refuted.

Amid Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the ICC T20 World Cup, rumors surfaced of a rift between captain Babar Azam and star bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi. However, assistant coach Azhar Mahmood has firmly dismissed these claims, asserting that Babar and Shaheen share a strong friendship.

Speculation about a rift began after Pakistan’s defeat to India on June 9 in New York, when cricketing legend Wasim Akram criticized the team’s poor performance. Akram suggested that Babar and Shaheen were not speaking to each other, urging disciplinary action.

“There are players who don’t want to talk to each other. This is international cricket, and you play for your country. Make these players sit at home,” Akram was quoted as saying by India Today.

READ ALSO | Wasim Akram Demands Player Changes, Criticizes Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed’s Performance

However, Mahmood has refuted claims made by Wasim Akram of a rift between captain Babar Azam and Afridi. The coach clarified that Babar and Shaheen share a strong friendship, both on and off the field. He also asserted that the team management takes collective responsibility for Pakistan’s poor performance, rather than blaming individual players.

“Wasim must have said that, but I don’t know. I didn’t see it. Shaheen and Babar are talking, they are good friends. They are both part of the Pakistan team. Now when you ask who will take responsibility – I think we all, as a team management will take responsibility. We have not lost because of anyone, it is our mistake too,” Mahmood said.

Notably, Mahmood then clarified that all players are actively involved and no one is being sidelined, contrary to claims by Akram.

“We are not hiding any players, everyone is there. Everything is there. I said earlier that we are a team. We’re sitting here, and it’s our responsibility. We’re not delivering. That’s why I’m sitting here. Yesterday, Gary was sitting here. So definitely, it’s not like we’re hiding a player. They’re part of us,” he added.

India’s next match is against the USA on Wednesday, June 12, while Pakistan faces Canada on Tuesday, June 11.



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Last Updated on June 11, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter