Are skipper Hafeez and Pak team management at loggerheads at World T20?
Speculation rife that Pakistan skipper Mohammed Hafeez and the team management are not seeing eye to eye on a number of issues, especially on selection matters
Karachi: Trouble seems to be brewing in the Pakistan cricket team in the ongoing World Twenty20 Championships in Bangladesh with speculation rife of differences between skipper Mohammad Hafeez and the team management. There are reports that Hafeez is not seeing eye to eye with the team management, which includes head coach Moin Khan, cricket consultant Zaheer Abbas and manager Zakir Khan, on a number of issues, especially on selection matters.
"It is not a good sign for Pakistan cricket that such rumours are even circulating before the start of our campaign in a world event. I just hope they are not true but definitely I would like to see the Pakistan cricket Board step-in and talk to all the main stakeholders in the team so that the team can focus on winning the tournament," former head coach and chief selector Mohsin Khan said.
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez looks on as his teammates stretch at a training session during the ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday. Pic/AFP
Rumours started circulating after Hafeez made some caustic comments about the head coach and cricket consultant referring to their lack of experience in modern cricket and how the sport had changed in the last couple of years.
Similar rumours had also circulated when the team returned from the Asia Cup.
"Yes, there are indications that Moin, Zaheer and the fielding coach Shoaib Muhammad in particular feel that Pakistan needs a new captain for future assignments and the names of Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan are being taken frequently now," one source close to the team said.
There are question marks over whether Hafeez will be able to sustain the pressure of playing India in tomorrow's high-pressure tournament-opener.
Hafeez was captain when Pakistan lost to India in the last World T20 Cup in Sri Lanka in 2012.
"Definitely if you compare Hafeez with Mahendra Singh Dhoni than you can see a visible difference but the thing in his favour is that he is a senior player and an ideal all-rounder for T20 format," former cricketer Basit Ali said.
Interestingly, neither Afridi nor Younis have made any attempts to reject talk about them being candidates for the captaincy and both have said if such a situation arises, they will give it a serious thought.
Pakistan won the 2009 World Twenty20 under Younis while Afridi led them to the semifinals of the event in 2010.