Rift between players, team director behind defeats in NZ?


LAHORE: An ongoing tussle between Pakistan senior players and Team Director Muhammad Hafeez over permission for franchise leagues has reportedly affected the recent performance of the Pakistan cricket team, ARY News reported on Sunday.  

New Zealand beat Pakistan by 21 runs in the second Twenty20 international on Sunday to take a 2-0 series lead.

The Green Shirts threw away a strong position in their run chase after Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman scored half-centuries as they were dismissed for 173 in the final over, in response to New Zealand s 194-8.

The match bore similarities to New Zealand s 46-run win in the opening match in Auckland on Friday, with their attack taking wickets at regular intervals to deny Pakistan a foothold in their chase.

The cricket team also faced another whitewash in Australia earlier this month. The third Test in Sydney was Pakistan s 17th consecutive loss in Australia. It extended the wait for their first Test victory in Australia since 1995-96.

Sources told ARY News that the ongoing tussle between Pakistan senior players and Team director has led to the recent dismal performance.

Muhammad Hafeez has shut the doors of franchise leagues on players as he refused to give clearance to some cricketers. Following the restrictions, contracts of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Azam Khan and Mohammad Wasim were affected.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had issued NOCs to the players for Twenty20 (T20) franchise league.

The players have expressed displeasure with team director for not giving clearance and raising objections.

Last year, team director Mohammad Hafeez said that Pakistan’s contracted players must put national team duty ahead of franchise cricket after fast bowler Haris Rauf declined to be part of the team’s test tour of Australia.

White-ball specialist Rauf, who played only one test and nine first-class matches in his career, turned down an offer to tour Australia where Pakistan played three tests. The 30-year-old instead joined the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League.

Read More: Why Haris Rauf wasn t selected in Pakistan s Test squad for Australia?

“All centrally contracted and domestic contracted players, for all of them, the priority is Pakistan,” former captain Hafeez told reporters.

“The point of offering it (contract) to the 20-25 players … is to make sure they are available to play,” he said.

“Now there is a parallel option in the form of leagues and we experienced this in the Asia Cup and World Cup.

“There was talk of fatigue, or players were getting injured because their workloads were too much, or not performing as they should.”

Hafeez is part of a new team management that was put in place after Pakistan failed to make the semi-finals of this year’s 50-overs World Cup in India.

Hafeez said the board would factor in a players’ workload ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup before giving him a ‘No Objection Certificate (NOC) to take part in one of the growing number of lucraitve franchise leagues around the world.

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