Pakistan team bitterly divided, claims report

May 8th, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar Karachi, May 8 (IANS) The Pakistan cricket team after losing the one-day series to Australia has been hit by the reports of disunity in the side.
According to Express, a national Urdu daily, the Pakistan team is bitterly divided into two camps of captain Younis Khan and vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

The newspaper claimed Friday that there is little unity in the Pakistan team ahead of next month’s World Twenty20 Championships in England and the players are more focussed on looking after their own interest.

Pakistan lost the one-day series to a below-strength Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi but went on to win the only Twenty20 game of the series in Dubai by seven wickets Thursday night.

The ODI series defeat was unexpected as Pakistan were the favourites because of home-like conditions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Also the fact that Australia were without several key players, including regular captain Ricky Ponting, worked in the favour of Pakistanis.

The report quoted sources close to some of the Pakistan players that the team management headed by coach Intikhab Alam has utterly failed to bring the players together.

According to the report, the divide among the players was quite visible in the UAE where the two groups allegedly stayed aloof from each other. The report said while Younis has the support of pacers Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, all-rounder Shahid Afridi, Fawad Alam and a few younger players, Misbah’s lobby includes former captain Shoaib Malik, wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, opener Salman Butt and pacer Rao Iftikhar Anjum.

The report also took a swipe at Intikhab, a former Pakistan captain who replaced Geoff Lawson as the team’s coach last October, saying that he is more interested in pleasing the Pakistan Cricket Board’s top brass than sorting out the problems within his team.

It said that Intikhab was seen making arrangements for complimentary tickets for PCB’s top officials, their families and guest just ahead of Pakistan’s Twenty20 clash against Australia.

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