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  5. Babar Azam vs Shaheen Afridi: Pakistan team divided into two groups in World Cup 2023? PCB denies rift rumours

Babar Azam vs Shaheen Afridi: Pakistan team divided into two groups in World Cup 2023? PCB denies rift rumours

Pakistan began their World Cup campaign on a high with wins over Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. But they lost their following matches against big teams like India and Australia. They are somewhat in a must-win situation now and the latest controversy is not helping even though PCB has denied it.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: October 23, 2023 18:37 IST
Pakistan, World Cup 2023
Image Source : GETTY Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi

Team Pakistan is not having a memorable time in India in the ongoing World Cup. The Babar Azam-led side has lost the last two matches - against India and Australia - while their first two wins came against Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. While the recent losses are not helping the team, the reports of rift in the side surfaced recently with the team divided into two groups.

Reportedly, Shaheen Afridi is leading one of the two factions and has challenged Babar Azam's leadership. Perhaps, the reports suggest that Shaheen also has the support of opener Imam-ul-Haq and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan. The speculations of rift have become so intense that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had to issue an official statement with regards to the matter. Moreover, according to Cricbuzz, PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf also called a visiting journalist in Chennai to deny any internal rift in the team. 

PCB, in its statement, claimed that the Pakistan team is stronger together and that there is no evidence to support the rift claims. The board also expressed its disappointment over the media outlets spreading fake news. "The Pakistan Cricket Board strongly denies recent speculations about any internal discord in the national cricket team currently participating in the ICC World Cup 2023. Contrary to rumours circulated by a certain section of the media, the PCB unequivocally assures that the team is cohesive and there is no evidence to support these unsubstantiated claims.

"The PCB is disappointed by the dissemination of this false news and emphasises the importance of upholding journalistic ethics before spreading such allegations," the statement read. Meanwhile, Pakistan are facing Afghanistan today in Chennai as they have left out Mohammad Nawaz who has fever with Shadab Khan replacing him in the playing XI.

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