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Gary Kirsten slams Shaheen Afridi for misbehaviour and mistreatment of coaches: Report

The last few weeks have been turbulent for Pakistani cricket. Last month, the team endured a dreadful campaign in the T20 World Cup, crashing out of the group stage after a shock defeat against the United States. Babar Azam’s men also lost to arch-rivals India before bowing out of the tournament. This comes after harsh criticism of the team and Babar’s captaincy; on Wednesday, former cricketers Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq were sacked from the PCB’s selection committee, becoming the first victims of their poor World Cup campaign.

Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi serves a ball in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup cricket match between Ireland and Pakistan (AP)

But it seems the storm has only just begun. According to multiple reports in Pakistani media (Geo News and Samaa TV), coach Gary Kirsten has accused Shaheen Afridi of behaving inappropriately towards coaches and support staff in past tours.

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Afridi’s behaviour towards the coaching staff was labelled as inappropriate, but the exact nature of the “inappropriate behaviour” was not disclosed. This was made worse by reports that team managers had refrained from taking any disciplinary action against Afridi during the tours.

Notably, Afridi was appointed as the captain of Pakistan’s white-ball team after Babar stepped down following a poor ODI World Cup last year. However, the star batsman was reinstated ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup after the Shaheen-led Pakistan team suffered a 4-1 defeat in the T20I series against New Zealand in January.

This is not the first time Kirsten has made these claims. Following the T20 World Cup fiasco, it was widely reported that the South African coach said there was “no unity” in the squad. Kirsten was also reportedly unhappy with the fitness standards in the team and issued a stern warning to players that they should value “form and unity”.

Wahab reacts to dismissal

The former Pakistan bowler, who was sacked as national selector on Wednesday, issued a statement in which he insisted he had served the team with “faith and sincerity”. He also wished Gary Kirsten and his team luck but added that he did not want to be “part of the blame game” even though he had “a lot to say”.

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