In a shocking turn of events, the unity within the Pakistan cricket team has suffered a significant blow following their exit from the Asia Cup 2023. The incident that has raised eyebrows occurred during Babar Azam’s post-match speech after Pakistan’s narrow defeat to Sri Lanka in the Super Four stage.
The tension unfolded as Babar Azam, the team’s captain, was addressing the players and expressing his disappointment with the overall team performance. It was at this moment that fast bowler Shaheen Afridi abruptly interrupted Babar and urged him to acknowledge the efforts of those players who had performed exceptionally well in the match.
The interruption from Afridi took everyone by surprise, including Babar Azam, who was visibly caught off guard. The situation escalated as Mohammad Rizwan and Grant Bradburn, both senior members of the team, stepped in to defuse the confrontation and encouraged both players to calm down.
Sources reveal that Babar Azam maintained a noticeable distance from his teammates after the match, even during their stay at the team hotel and while flying back to Pakistan.
The root cause of this discord appears to be Pakistan’s failure to secure a spot in the Asia Cup 2023 final. Despite starting the Super Four stage with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh, their subsequent defeats to arch-rivals India and, most significantly, to Sri Lanka, dashed their hopes of reaching the final.
With Sri Lanka’s triumph over Pakistan, they have earned the right to face India in the Asia Cup 2023 final, scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 17, at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
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Pakistan, on the other hand, will undoubtedly need to address their internal issues and regroup as they look ahead to future challenges.