The Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday denied a speculated rift between some players and coach Mickey Arthur a day after a news channel claimed that chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq was sent to England to act as a peacemaker between the two ‘warring parties’, PTI reported.
The Pakistan-based news channel also claimed that some players have lodged a complaint with the PCB about the behaviour of Arthur, and insisted that they were not going to accept the South African dominating proceedings.
They further claimed that some players are not on talking terms with the coach. The board, however, denied the claims. The PCB said that Inzamam’s departure for England was delayed due to office procedures but it had been decided beforehand that he would travel to the UK and be involved in the selection process.
Interestingly, in Pakistan cricket, the selection committee usually picks the touring squad and then a tour selection committee, including the captain, coach and at times the manager, finalise the playing XI before a match.
Therefore, Inzamam’s presence in England, and his involvement in finalising the playing XI and getting involved in other team matters, has raised eyebrows.
In fact, many former players have criticised Inzamam’s interference in team affairs and termed it as an attempt to override the captain and coach.
A board official expressed frustration at the many stories circulating in the Pakistan media since the team’s back-to-back defeats to Australia and neighbours India.
“It is sad because our team needs all the support it can get right now. That is why the board chairman called up captain Sarfaraz [Ahmed] and encouraged him,” the official said.
“Every time we do badly, such stories and speculations come out. When Pakistan won against England, there was no mention of rifts but it has started now,” he added.
Inzamam is no longer travelling with the team as his assignment ended after Pakistan’s match against India.
Pakistan’s performance to be reviewed
The PCB will carry out a “robust review and analysis” of the performances of the national team and its support staff, including head coach Mickey Arthur, in the past three years post the World Cup.
The PCB Board of Governors, who met in Lahore on Wednesday also agreed the team’s performances has been below par. Pakistan has won just one of its five games in the World Cup so far.
The defeat to arch-rivals India has led to a severe backlash in the country with fans, stalwarts and media backing an inquiry into the debacle. The PCB said in a statement that the Board of Governors had a discussion on the Pakistan team’s recent performance across all formats.