Pakistan cricket team has found itself embroiled in internal conflicts amidst its campaign in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. Following defeats against hosts USA and arch-rivals India, Pakistan is on the brink of elimination in the first round.
Prior to the mega event, the team faced a challenging series win against Ireland but stumbled against England, leaving former cricketers and experts deeply discontented with the team’s lackluster performance.
Sources have revealed a deep-seated division within the national team, with factions forming among players. The captaincy dispute has turned friends into rivals, with many players communicating only as needed, reflecting the fragmented state of the team.
Board officials are reportedly taken aback by the extent of disunity among the 15-member squad. Sources suggest that until some time ago, Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi had such a friendship that the trend of “even thinking about changing the captain is forbidden” surfaced. However, when Shaheen was made captain in place of Babar and accepted the responsibility, a rift developed in their relationship.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that many of the team’s star players share the same agent, who also has close ties to former cricketers. This network of support has led to social media trolling against anyone who criticizes these star players. Officials believe that this has elevated Babar’s image beyond cricket, causing issues within the team. After being removed from captaincy, Babar’s communication with the board was almost severed but improved with the arrival of new management.
The removal of Shaheen from the captaincy after just one series, and the issuance of a fake statement to the media, left him deeply unhappy. Although he was informally offered the vice-captaincy, the board officially denied it, exacerbating his discontent. Despite these issues, Shaheen has continued to perform well for the team.
Sources indicate that Babar is not receiving the respect he deserves as captain, with players feeling he is not supportive when needed. Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir are not liked by Babar but they were included in the team after taking back their retirement which affected team’s combination. Meanwhile, Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed continue to get opportunities despite poor performances.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was aware of these issues before the World Cup but chose not to take immediate action due to the significance of the event. There are also reports of factions within the board itself, with members acting as defensive shields for one another. 
Chairman Mohsin Naqvi has hinted at a clean-up operation in the national team as well, with several significant changes expected after the World Cup, including some surprising decisions.

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