Pakistan cricket has always been a passionate affair but it has also been plagued by controversies and disagreements. Dressing room rifts and fights have been a regular occurrence over the years, and they have often damaged the team's performance on the field.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Tuesday put rumours to rest by gracing speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi's wedding.
Babar had landed in Karachi exclusively from Dubai to attend the Barat event of Shaheen Afridi.
The Pakistan skipper also hugged Shaheen and former all-rounder Shahid Afridi on this auspicious occasion.
– Family –
The rumours of a rift between Shaheen and Babar had caused concern among Pakistani fans ahead of the World Cup as the green shirts heavily rely on its star players.
How do dressing room fights impact team performance?
Dressing room rifts can have a significant impact on team performance. When players are not getting along, it can create a toxic atmosphere and make it difficult to work together as a team. This can lead to poor communication, coordination, and decision-making on the field.
This isn't the first time there have been rumours of arguments and fights among Pakistan cricket players. Let's have a look at past instances of disagreements among them.
Inzamam and Younis Khan
Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan got into a face-off after a rough tackle during a game meant to warm up before practice for a 2003 World Cup match.
Younis received a yellow card, and Inzamam was not pleased. He approached Younis aggressively, but they didn't exchange punches. Saeed Anwar tried to intervene but Inzamam pushed him away.
Eventually, the team's English coach, Richard Pybus intervened and took both players to the dressing room.
Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif
Shoaib Akhtar, the fastest bowler in the cricket history till date, often found himself in the spotlight - sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones.
Prior to the 2007 T20 World Cup, he was dropped from the team for a shocking incident where he hit his teammate Mohammad Asif with a bat.
In his autobiography, titled "Controversially Yours," Akhtar pointed fingers at Shahid Afridi, blaming him for the incident.
He argued that Afridi had provoked him, and when he swung the bat to strike Afridi, it accidentally hit Mohammad Asif.
Afridi, on the other hand, denied these allegations.
This incident wasn't the only controversy involving Shoaib Akhtar, but it was a significant setback for both him and Pakistan as they had to compete in the inaugural T20 World Cup without their star fast bowler.
Shahid Afridi and Javed Miandad
In 2016, there was a heated dispute between two well-known Pakistani cricketers, Javed Miandad and Shahid Afridi.
This argument even led to rumours involving an underworld figure, Dawood Ibrahim, who happens to have a family connection with Miandad through marriage.
Miandad accused Afridi of primarily wanting a farewell match for financial gain and also alleged his involvement in match-fixing.
In response, Afridi denied these claims and accused Miandad of being driven by money and having his own connection to match-fixing.
Despite attempts to reconcile, the situation escalated when Afridi released his autobiography, "Game Changer".
In the book, Afridi criticized Miandad and called him a "small human being". He claimed that Miandad had denied him practice time before an important match against India.
Miandad dismissed Afridi's claims as tactics to boost book sales. While acknowledging their differences, he denied any wrongdoing toward Afridi.
Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar
It might not surprise you to see Shoaib Akhtar's name multiple times on this list, as he's known for stirring up controversy in the cricket world. The same goes for former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.
After Shoaib Akhtar retired, he and Wasim Akram had quite a few public disagreements. The root of their disagreements can be traced back to Shoaib's autobiography, "Controversially Yours".
In the book, Shoaib accused Wasim of playing a role in damaging his cricket career and even admitted that he was afraid of Shoaib joining the team.
In 2011, Wasim responded by saying that Shoaib had been a difficult person to deal with and suggested that Shoaib himself was responsible for the problems in his career. Clearly, these two cricket legends didn't get along very well.