Pakistan in SA

Pakistan deny player rift

2013-03-09 13:27
Mohammad Hafeez (Gallo Images)

Kariachi - Pakistan cricket authorities forcefully denied reports of differences between Misbah-ul Haq and Mohammad Hafeez ahead of the five-match one-day series against South Africa starting on Sunday.

Pakistani media reported a serious dispute between one-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Twenty20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez over the selection of the team.

"Misbah and Hafeez have developed serious differences over the selection of the final eleven and it has come to an extent that both are not on talking terms," leading Urdu newspaper Jang reported, quoting sources in the team.

Former paceman Sikander Bakht said Hafeez wants to displace Misbah as one-day captain.

"Hafeez scored 86 in the Twenty20 win so he must be flying high and now wants to take over as one-day captain," Bakht said in a television interview, referring to Hafeez's match-winning knock in Pakistan's 95-run win at Centurion last Sunday.

But the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it conducted an inquiry with the team management and found the reports were baseless.

"The PCB high-ups launched a thorough inquiry, contacted the team management in South Africa and it was discovered that no such disagreement whatsoever existed amongst the think tank, or between Misbah and Hafeez," the PCB said in a statement.

It is therefore stated for the record that all such isolated reports in the media are baseless and an attempt to demoralise the team, said the PCB.

Pakistan's national cricket team has a history of in-fighting, dissent and revolts against captains in the past, resulting in poor performances.

The PCB said the entire team was motivated to do well on the tour.

"In fact, the management was exceptionally satisfied that at the commencement of the one-day series, the entire team was united and motivated and its morale was very high," said the statement.

Pakistan suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the preceding Test series.

Squads:

South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain/wicketkeeper), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper), Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Imran Farhat, Abdur Rehman

Fixtures:


March:

10: First one-day international, Bloemfontein (day)

15: Second one-day international, Centurion (day-night)

17: Third one-day international, Johannesburg (day)

21: Fourth one-day international, Durban (day)

24: Fifth one-day international, Benoni (day)

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