Both Hafeez and ul-Haq deny the altercation ever occurred
Pakistan ODI and Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has dismissed reports of having a heated dispute with Twenty20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez during the national team’s recent tour of South Africa.
The Pakistan media reported that the two became involved in a verbal altercation after the warm up match against the South African Invitation XI in Kimberley.
However, the reports differ on the cause of the altercation, with some blaming the result of the match, while others speculate that there was a disagreement between the two.
The reports also said that ul-Haq wants Hafeez to come in at number three in the batting order, while Hafeez prefers to open.
Furthermore, ul-Haq prefers the idea of having two all-rounders in the squad, while Hafeez is in favour of having more bowlers in the side.
Ul-Haq called the media speculation “irresponsible and baseless” and even noted that the team had laughed at the idea that the two team leaders had become entangled in a dispute.
“People who are putting out those stories should be ashamed of that,” ul-Haq added. “The team is like a family, we are playing here like a family, we all support each other and there is nothing wrong.”
He also noted that these sort of rumours tend to crop up “whenever we lose a few games”.
Pakistan team manager Naved Cheema was also quick to dismiss the reports and even hinted that they were part of a conspiracy to destabilise the national team.
“It has become a common practice to launch a propaganda campaign against the team by targeting players ahead of an important event, but the team management is fully aware of the situation and is determined to defy all such moves in the larger interest of the Pakistan team and cricket,” Cheema said. “Our aim is to take Pakistan cricket higher with our team playing quality cricket and producing positive results.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also rubbished the claims of the media, and said: “[In view of] reports in a few media outlets that there was supposedly a disagreement amongst the think tank of Team Pakistan, in particular between skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez, with regards to the selection of the ODI XI, the PCB high-ups launched a thorough inquiry. The team management was contacted in South Africa and it was discovered that no such disagreement whatsoever existed amongst the think tank, or between Misbah and Hafeez. It is therefore stated for record that all such isolated reports in the media are baseless … and an attempt to demoralise the team.”