Pakistan’s cricket team arrived in London on Monday evening with its World Cup campaign in complete disarray.
An embarrassing 89-run defeat against old foes India at Old Trafford on Sunday has left Pakistan in such a precarious situation that even victory in their remaining four World Cup group games won’t guarantee the team’s progress in the semi-finals.
But the nearly impossible task of reaching the last four is just part of Pakistan’s growing list of woes as they take a brief break from World Cup duty.
There have been whispers of discord within the Pakistan team since their humiliating seven-wicket loss against the West Indies in their World Cup opener in Nottingham on May 30.
But those whispers have now grown into full-blown allegations of disunity and groupings within Pakistan’s World Cup squad following the team’s back-to-back losses against Australia and India.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday rejected the media reports of friction within the team after back-to-back losses in the ongoing World Cup tournament, and said that the entire team is standing behind skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed.
The board spokesperson said that the team will soon prove its critics wrong by giving a substantive performance in the remaining four games of the tournament.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed avoided making any comments on Wednesday over reports of conflict with Pakistani players, as the media speculated on alleged grouping within the national team, which has raised more questions.
Pakistan team reached London on Wednesday and the captain of the cricket team Sarfaraz Ahmed was immediately surrounded by reporters and journalists who had only one question: Is there any truth about the grouping and lobbying within the team?
Sarfaraz reluctantly replied:: “Talk to media manager Raza first…then we can discuss it.”
His response has given birth to even more controversy as many experts and former players are convinced that Pakistan camp is divided into two parties and both are fighting against each other which is why Pakistan’s performances on the pitch are woeful, to say the least.
A lot of people are complaining that if there’s no grouping in the team then why Sarfaraz refrains from commenting on reports of grouping in Pakistan team. He should have come forward and lead like a leader.
Earlier, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani directed skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed to ignore the baseless media reports and solely focus on the remaining games of the World Cup tournament, sources informed Geo News.
In a phone call, the chairman motivated the skipper and told him that the team has not yet been eliminated from the tournament hence it should give its best in the coming matches.
The chairman said that the team should not divert its attention from the game, remain calm and always remember that the fans have high hopes from them.
Sarfaraz expressed his gratitude to the chairman for his support and expressed his hope that the team will meet the nation’s expectations in coming matches.