A defeat to arch-rivals India extend their record to 0-7 in the tournament. Any defeat top India is always difficult to digest for the passionate Pakistani cricket community anywhere in the world, particularly when it is in a World Cup. But the manner of the performance on Sunday led to plenty of outrage among fans and exposed the gulf between the sides.
And a day after the defeat in Manchester, the media in Pakistan ran stories about groupings in the team and how some players wanted to topple the captain.
PTI quoted news channel Samaa and said that, soon after he got out, Sarfaraz allegedly lost his cool in the dressing room and accused some players including Imad Wasim and Imam-ul-Haq, of forming a group against him and not supporting him.
Duniya did a similar report about how there were different groups in the team – one led by Mohammad Aamir and another led by Imad – which were letting Sarfaraz down. Amir, however, has been Pakistan’s best player so far in the tournament and impressed against India as well.
Some newspapers on Monday also hinted at internal problems within the team.
PTI contacted two players in the Pakistan team, they denied any groupings but confirmed that Sarfaraz returned to the dressing room very angry and let go at some players.
“But it was more out of frustration and I don’t recall him blaming anyone or talking about groupings in the team but he did say the players needed to give more,” the player is quoted as saying on condition of anonymity.
He insisted that all the players were heartbroken and depressed after the defeat to India but had not given up hope of qualifying for the semi-finals.
“Even after we lost to Australia we had meetings to encourage each other and to discuss the areas where we had gone wrong. But when you are not doing well we tend to see these speculative stories in Pakistan media,” he said.
Some former players have also hinted at problems in the team but former captain Moin Khan said it was the duty of the Pakistan Cricket Board to back its management.
“It is normal in our country that when the team is not doing well in a major event or otherwise there is always talk about problems in the dressing room,” he said.
Moin said he fully backed Sarfaraz although key mistakes were made against Australia and India.
“The point of concern is that our fielding and catching standards have been very shoddy and that has not helped,” he said.