PCB committee to probe possible faction in team

The committee is likely to talk to captain Shahid Afridi, head coach, Waqar Younis, manager Intikhab Alam and some players in the World T20 squad when the team returns home from India.

PCB chief Shaharyar Khan was worried with 'the way [Afridi and Waqar] spoke' after the 22-run loss to New Zealand.   -  PTI

The fact-finding committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which is probing reasons for the poor show in the Asia Cup, has also been assigned to check whether there have been factions in the national team. According to a highly placed source in the PCB, the committee will talk to captain Shahid Afridi, head coach, Waqar Younis, manager Intikhab Alam and some players in the World T20 squad when the team returns home from India.

“The committee will also talk to the other members of the support staff including the security manager, assistant coach and batting coach Grant Flower,” the source said.

He said the PCB high-ups were puzzled over the way the Pakistan team had lost to New Zealand when it appeared they were on course for a win. The development comes just two days after PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan said at a press conference in Lahore that there were no groupings in the team and that the players were motivated and united.

The fact-finding committee, which includes Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and senior batsman Younis Khan, has already met thrice to probe into the Asia Cup debacle when Pakistan lost to India and Bangladesh. Younis had declined to attend the meetings, insisting he would make an appearance after the World T20 is over.

'All is not well'

PCB’s chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad, former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim and member governing board, Shakil Sheikh are other members of the committee. The source said that Shaharyar was deeply disturbed after the way Afridi and Waqar spoke after the loss to New Zealand.

“The comments made by both indicated all is not well within the team,” the source added.

Waqar blasted his players without naming anyone for their inadequate performances but referred particularly to Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad. Shaharyar has copped some criticism for his comments made during the World T20 when he said that the captain and coach will be changed after the event.

Pakistan’s former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said when the chairman made such comments in the middle of an event, how could the team perform and remain confident.