Karachi: Coming on the heels of coach Waqar Younis' scathing assessment, Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam severely criticised captain Shahid Afridi in a report submitted to the board after the team's poor performances in the Asia Cup and World T20. Intikhab labelled Afridi as being an 'absolutely clueless' captain in his farewell event after nearly 20 years in the game, according to a report by ESPNCricinfo.
Intikhab highlighted the anxiety and tension in the Pakistan camp due to the team being scanners from all around the country and the cricketing world, with the tournament being held in India. He went on to slam Afridi for making the team atmosphere worse by making unnecessary comments about the Pakistan team getting more love in India than in Pakistan.
Intikhab said Afridi deviated from the media manager's brief for that mandatory press conference which turned controversial. "Had he stuck to the detailed briefing given to him by the Media Manager and myself, this would not have occurred," Intikhab mentioned in the report.
The Pakistan team manager also criticised Afridi's on-field tactics, citing his field placements when Shoaib Malik was bowling against India, with the hosts in a tight spot at that time. "It was very surprising to see in a low-scoring game there was no attacking field-placing. There was no slip; had he employed a slip cordon for Malik, we may have had Yuvraj as two chances from his blade went through."
Intikhab felt matters became worse when this kind of behaviour came from a captain with over twenty years of international experience, who was playing his last international series.
Pakistan team manager's attack on Shahid Afridi followed coach Waqar's allegations on the Pakistan captain and his 'non-serious' approach during the World T20.
According to excerpts of Waqar Younis' report that was leaked in the media last week, Waqar said that Afridi appeared not concerned about the team's performance in the two events.
He had also claimed that Afridi regularly missed practice sessions and meetings.
The rift between the head coach and captain is not new as the two had also clashed during Waqar's first tenure in 2011 as a result of which the cricket board Afridi as ODI and T20 captain.
The legendary pacer expressed his "disappointment" at the report being leaked to the media.
"I am totally disappointed and upset with the way the report has been leaked and I think the Pakistan Cricket Board needs to find out who leaked it and for what purpose," Waqar told PTI from Lahore.
"I can only say what I have written in the report is what I sincerely feel. It is now up to the board to decide what to do. Because I have said before cosmetic measures will not bring about any good in Pakistan cricket," Waqar added.
Waqar had also talked about the indiscipline and arrogant attitude of players such as Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad, something that manager Intikhab reiterated, in fairly harsh words -- he referred to Akmal's game responsibility and awareness were damning of the experienced batsman and called Shehzad 'equally poor'.
He claimed that he had requested the national selection committee to include Salman Butt in the squad for the Asia Cup and World T20, but chief selector Haroon Rasheed, without consulting him, included Khurrum Manzoor in the side.
Waqar had publicly begged forgiveness for the team's dismal performance, and Afridi took to the social media later to apologise to the nation.
After yet another disappointing World Cup campaign, it seems Pakistan cricket is set to go through yet another period of turmoil.
With inputs from PTI