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Gary Kirsten drops bolt from the blue, accuses Shaheen Afridi of misconduct, misbehaviour with coaches: Report

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Jul 11, 2024 06:36 AM IST

According to reports in Pakistani media, Shaheen Afridi is at the centre of a rather controversial claim from Gary Kirsten.

The past few weeks have been tumultuous for Pakistan cricket. Last month, the side endured a horrendous campaign at the T20 World Cup, where it was knocked out from the group stage following a shocking defeat to the United States. Babar Azam’s men also lost to arch-rivals India before bowing out of the tournament. This followed a severe criticism of the side, as well as Babar’s captaincy; on Wednesday, former cricketers Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq were sacked from PCB’s selection committee, becoming the first victims of the poor World Cup campaign.

Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi bowls a delivery during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup cricket match between Ireland and Pakistan(AP)

It seems the storm has just begun, though. According to multiple reports in Pakistani media (Geo News and Samaa TV), coach Gary Kirsten has accused Shaheen Afridi of misbehaving with the coaches and support staff over the past tours.

Afridi’s behaviour towards the coaching staff has been labelled as inappropriate, though the exact nature of the “misconduct” remains undisclosed. This is exacerbated by the report, which further indicates that the team managers neglected to enforce any disciplinary measures against Afridi during the tours.

It is worth noting that Afridi was named the captain of Pakistan’s white-ball sides after Babar stepped down following a poor ODI World Cup last year. However, the star batter was reinstated in the role before this year’s T20 World Cup after a Shaheen-led Pakistan side faced a 4-1 defeat in a T20I series to New Zealand in January.

This is not the first time Kirsten has made the allegations. Following the T20 World Cup debacle, it was widely reported that the South African coach stated there was “no unity” in the squad. It was also reported that Kirsten wasn’t too pleased with the fitness standards in the side and gave a stern warning to the players that they needed to value “fitness and unity.”

Wahab reacts to sacking

The former Pakistan bowler, who was sacked as national selector on Wednesday, issued a statement where he insisted he had served the side with “faith and sincerity.” He also wished his luck to Gary Kirsten and his team but added that he doesn’t want “to be a part of blame games,” even when he has “a lot to say.”

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