Home Cricket News Pakistan Coach Clarifies ‘Good Friends’ Shaheen Afridi-Babar Azam’s Rift Rumours

Pakistan Coach Clarifies ‘Good Friends’ Shaheen Afridi-Babar Azam’s Rift Rumours

Pakistan Coach Clarifies ‘Good Friends’ Shaheen Afridi-Babar Azam’s Rift Rumours

There has been significant speculation about a potential rift between Shaheen Afridi and Babar Azam. Afridi was replaced as captain before the 2024 T20 World Cup, with Azam resuming the role. Despite this leadership change, Pakistan’s performance did not improve, resulting in consecutive losses to the United States and India.

Following the defeat to India, renowned Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram suggested internal issues within the team, specifically that Afridi and Azam were not on speaking terms due to the captaincy change.

Azhar Mahmood said: “Wasim (Akram) must have said that, but I don’t know. I didn’t see it. Shaheen and Babar are definitely talking, they are good friends. They are both part of the Pakistan team,” said Mahmood during the pre-match press conference ahead of the Group A clash against Canada.

Azhar Mahmood Denies Tensions Between Afridi and Azam, Acknowledges Team’s Struggles

Babar Azam
Babar Azam

Contrary to these claims, Pakistan assistant coach Azhar Mahmood has dismissed the notion of discord between Afridi and Azam. While Akram was highly critical of Azam’s leadership after the loss, Mahmood admitted that the team has not played to its full potential in the tournament thus far. He emphasized that the team management acknowledges their responsibility for the team’s performance and is committed to addressing the issues.

To which Wasim said: “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, Mahmood added: “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.”

“We are not hiding any players, everyone is there. Everything is there. I said earlier that we are a team. Obviously, 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.”

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