Karachi: May 27, 2011
Shahid Afridi's media outbursts were not the only reason for his sacking as Pakistan captain, it has emerged that team manager Intikhab Alam and coach Waqar Younis contributed to it with a critical report of his conduct during the just-concluded tour of the West Indies.
Well-placed sources in the board have confirmed to PTI that the report was sent after the one-day series during which serious differences developed between Afridi and the team management over selection issues.
"PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt asked the manager and coach to send a report on reported incidents where Afridi walked out of a team meeting and was also reluctant to lead the team in the last two one-day internationals because of selection issues with Waqar," a source disclosed.
"The manager in his report outlined the details of the incident and differences between Afridi and Waqar and also highlighted that Afridi had not behaved like a captain during the entire episode and was only persuaded to lead and play in the last two one-dayers by Intikhab and all this drama had a detrimental effect on the team atmosphere," the source said.
Pakistan lost the last two one-dayers in the West Indies after winning the first three in a row by comfortable margins and appeared set to clean sweep the five-match rubber.
The board has not given any reason for removing Afridi as captain of the one-day team but Butt has admitted there were disciplinary reasons for changing the captain.
"I will not elaborate on the reasons right now but I can say this much we had valid ground for taking this decision and we will give details once the Pakistan team returns home and we get the full tour report from the manager and coach," Butt said.
Butt insisted that the board was very clear now that no indiscipline would be tolerated from any player.
The PCB chief said a full review of the happenings in the West Indies would take place once the team is home and anyone found guilty of causing damage to team spirt and discipline would be taken to task.
Butt, while removing Afridi as captain, appointed senior batsman Misbah-ul-Haq to lead the team in the two one-dayers against Ireland on May 28 and 30.
Afridi, who was picked as a player for the two one-dayers, has pulled out of the series due to the illness of his ailing father who is under treatment in the USA.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that Intikhab has played a role in getting the captain changed.
In early 2009, as coach of the national team, he and the then manager Yawar Saeed recommended replacing Shoaib Malik as captain who they felt was not able to communicate properly with the other players.
Later that year, Intikhab and Yawar were again in charge when Younis Khan pulled out of the team and stepped down as captain during a one-day series in the UAE.
Yawar was later accused of helping Afridi, Malik and some other players meet Butt to whom they voiced their opposition to Younis as captain.
After the tour to Australia in mid 2009 it was on Intikhab and Yawar's reports that the board held an inquiry and removed Muhammad Yousuf as Test captain.