Pakistani cricket team suffered a heartbreaking defeat against Sri Lanka in their last Super 4 match which also ended their Asia Cup 2023 campaign on September 14. After a heavy 228-run defeat against India, Babar Azam-led side failed to defend 252 runs against Sri Lanka with the latter recording a two-wicket win to reach the final of the tournament at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium.
After a last-ball defeat, Pakistani players were clearly disappointed as they expressed their frustration during the post-match scenes. However, according to Pakistani media outlet Bolnews, things turned ugly in Pakistan’s dressing room when Babar was addressing team performance and the players were involved in a verbal clash.
According to cricket.one report, the Pakistani skipper expressed his disappointment with harsh words and demanded more from his teammates ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023. He also pointed out the team’s issues and their mistakes which irked the star pacer Shaheen Afridi. The left-arm pacer lashed out at Babar and told him to acknowledge the performance of players who did well in the initial stages. Babar reportedly silenced his teammate which led to an intervention from wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan and backroom staff.
There were some impressive individual displays from Pakistani camp but they were disappointing as a team unit. Babar was clearly expecting more from his team as they started as the world’s no.1 ODI team and were tipped to reach the finals. The same report also revealed that Babar distanced himself from his teammates after the defeat and left for the hotel alone.
Pakistan Cricket Board chief Zaka Ashraf has formed a committee to review the team’s performance in the tournament. The committee is likely to review players’ contributions in the Asia Cup and provide inputs to the board as they are yet to announce their team for the ICC World Cup 2023.
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