T20 World Cup 2024: Shahid Afridi Hints Rift Within Pakistan Team After India Defeat

    Soon after Pakistan’s six-run defeat against India during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, the former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi hinted at a rift among the Pakistan players in the dressing room, which could be the reason behind their struggle of late.

    The runners-up from the last edition of the tournament failed to chase down 120 runs as they fell short by six runs against India, and that too after being at a very position, with 48 runs being needed in the last 48 balls and that too with seven wickets in hand, including the big hitter of the side.

    Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have not been able to give them a good start again in the powerplay, while the latter kept on playing the dot balls, which mounted the pressure on himself and later on the entire team too, which was one of the reasons why they fell like a pack of cards towards the end.

    ‘Let this World Cup finish, and I will speak openly’ – Shahid Afridi

    The way Rizwan batted it kept like he was trying to take the game deep, which wasn’t needed given a few big shots at the start or even in the middle overs could have killed the momentum for the Indian team. But once he decided to stay in the middle for the most part, the most important thing was to take the team home.

    Also Read: ‘I Expected Such A Statement From Virat Kohli’- Shahid Afridi

    When Jasprit Bumrah came to bowl the 15th over, it was confirmed that it would be his one-over spell, and that means the smartest job would have been to see the quality of Bumrah and look to target the other bowlers, who would come automatically under pressure to take wickets.

    But on the very first ball of the over, Rizwan made a very poor slog as the ball disturbed the stumps to bring the wicket-keeper batter on his knees. Even when they were in the field, it was quite surprising to see Babar Azam not throwing the ball to Shadab Khan, especially against Rishabh Pant, who has got out to the spinner multiple times.

    Even Imad Wasim came at the crease before Shadab, who was fresh off his 40-run vital knock in 25 balls in the previous game against the USA. The struggle of Iftikhar Ahmed was quite evident in the chase too, as he wasn’t getting the timing right.

    When Bumrah fired a low full toss to Ahmed in the leg side, the only thing he needed to do was to get some bat in it, and it would have run away to the boundary with the fine-leg up in the circle. Rather Iftikhar nailed it straight into the hands of the fielder to end the hopes of the 2009-champions.

    The former Pakistan all-rounder, Shahid Afridi has expressed his concerns towards the dressing room atmosphere of the Pakistan team and among the players, as he feels that it’s the job of the captain to build the team in these situations.

    ‘A captain brings everyone together, either he spoils the team environment or he builds the team. Let this World Cup finish, and I will speak openly,” 47-year-old Shahid Afridi noted.

    He also mentioned that due to his close connection with Shaheen Shah Afridi, the former Pakistan captain who was removed of his position just before the World Cup, feeling that his comments won’t be taken on a positive note.

    Also Read: “Would Never Let Azam Khan Get Anywhere Near Pakistan Team” – Shahid Afridi Questions Keeper’s Fitness Level

    ‘I have such a relationship with Shaheen (Afridi) that if I talk about him, people will say I am favouring my son-in-law,” Shahid Afridi reflected in the same chat.

    Another veteran left-arm Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram also pointed out the relationship within the team, feeling that these things shouldn’t happen in International cricket.

    ‘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,” 58-year-old remarked.

    Pakistan will now lock horns with Canada on June 11 in New York.

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