File photo of Shaheen Afridi (left) and Babar Azam.© AFP
Pakistan cricket team had a good start in the recently-concluded Asia Cup tournament but failed to carry the momentum and bowed out of the event in the Super 4 stage, following a disappointing loss to Sri Lanka. After their shocking exit, rumours emerged that Pakistan captain Babar Azam and team’s ace pacer Shaheen Afridi were engaged in a war of words. According to a report in Bol News, Babar, after the loss to Sri Lanka, questioned the role of the senior players in the Asia Cup 2023 campaign. Shaheen interrupted him and said he should not generalise and not criticise those who did well, added the report.
Babar then replied that he is well aware about who is doing well and who’s not, according to the report that also claimed that Babar went to the press conference after the Asia Cup loss and on his way to the hotel did not talk to anybody.
While Shaheen had quelled the rumour with a post on social media, Babar Azam on Tuesday asserted that there is no bad blood in the dressing room following the Asia Cup disappointment.
For the unversed, Shaheen had posted a photo with Babar, along with the caption: “Family.”
In a pre-departure media conference on Tuesday, Babar said: “There is no ill will in the dressing room. There are discussions after every loss but they get twisted into something else entirely. The entire team is like a family and there is love and respect there.”
Most of the Pakistan squad members have not played in India before but skipper Babar Azam on Tuesday exuded confidence, saying his team has done its homework for the ODI World Cup beginning on October 5.
Pakistan team’s visas were finally cleared on Monday night and the side will be reaching Hyderabad via Dubai on Wednesday.
Only Mohammad Nawaz and Agha Salman have played in India before. Babar could not travel to India for the T20 World Cup in 2016 due to an injury.
(With PTI Inputs)
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