Pakistan's captain Babar Azam (L) with teammates walks back to the pavilion after Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets during the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four one-day international (ODI) cricket match against Sri Lanka. Photo: AFP

The Pakistan cricket team's unexpected exit from the Asia Cup 2023 has left fans and experts alike bewildered. The men in green, with a strong batting line and a formidable bowling department, entered the tournament as firm favourites and were widely anticipated to dominate the competition. However, their early departure has raised questions and ignited fervent discussions about what went wrong for a team that had held such high hopes of clinching the coveted title.

Media reports suggest simmering tensions within the team, with sources indicating that captain Babar Azam expressed dissatisfaction with the performances of senior players. This criticism reportedly delivered in the aftermath of the team's defeat against Sri Lanka in their final Super 4 fixture, set the stage for a heated exchange of words within the squad.

Leading fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi retorted back, encouraging Babar to acknowledge the contributions of those who had performed well. This exchange reportedly led to Mohammad Rizwan stepping in to mediate the situation.

Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Moin Khan openly spoke about the team's chemistry after their Sri Lanka match. During a discussion on Geo TV, the ex-cricketer recollecting visuals from after the Sri Lanka game, voiced his concern over the team chemistry owing to the reaction of the players.

“We saw in the entire tournament, I’ve commented about it earlier as well… no player walked towards Babar. Neither Rizwan came to him, nor even the vice-captain was coming to him. No one was going to him. It felt everyone was scattered, there was no unity,” said Moin.

He added, "It's good that such matters have come out before the big tournament. So that, you can rectify and improve conduct. This will develop unity. The issues should not happen during matches. This does not send a good vibe that such reports are coming out in the media about fight, argument in the dressing room."

However, a report dismissed rumours of discord within the team's dressing room. Quoting a senior player from the team, the website said that the team's sole focus is on cricket, and they are not concerned about the critics.

Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (