The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was engulfed in controversy when a live broadcast of an alleged private WhatsApp communication between the Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and a senior PCB official was made public following the team’s poor campaign in the mega event.
The argument erupted when former Pakistani cricket player Rashid Latif claimed on a local TV show that Babar had attempted to contact prominent members of the PCB, such as Salman Naseer, Usman Wahla, and Zaka Ashraf, but had not received a response for two days.
Former wicketkeeper Rashid Latif asserted on Saturday that Zaka Ashraf, the chairman of the PCB management committee, was not returning Babar Azam’s calls or text messages. Officials from the PCB, however, have refuted these accusations and stated that they were taken aback by Latif’s claim that Babar Azam had tried to contact Zaka Ashraf.
The PCB CEO Ashraf published an exchange on WhatsApp between Babar Azam and Salman Naseer, the company’s chief operating officer, and a sports journalist to refute Latif’s allegations. Naseer asked Babar about reports of failed attempts to get in touch with the chairman during the conversation, to which Babar denied making any calls.
The dispute intensified when a private news channel showed a screenshot of the conversation, purportedly with Zaka Ashraf’s approval. Despite this, the PCB issued a statement asserting that it did not influence the channel’s editorial policies.
However, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials dispelled the rumour that Zaka Ashraf ignored Babar Azam’s entreaties for communication, explaining instead that Zaka Ashraf and Babar Azam had a productive meeting in India.
The players on the national team and the PCB COO are not confident in each other because of what is happening. According to a report by the local media, Babar Azam is not pleased with the revelation and has voiced concerns about his private conversations on sensitive topics being leaked to the media in the future.
After dropping their last four matches, Pakistan is in danger of leaving the World Cup early for the first time in their history. Due to their string of tight losses, Pakistan’s captain has been under pressure in the past few games.
The Men in Green has not demonstrated any resistance and their fielders have performed poorly, but would look to win their next two games to make a strong case for the ODI World Cup semifinals.