Pakistan failed to qualify for the Asia Cup 2023 final despite a strong start to their campaign. In the group stage, they registered a crushing 238-run victory over Nepal while their marquee encounter against India was abandoned due to rain.
The Men in Green started the Super 4 round with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh but the 228-run thrashing at the hands of arch-rivals India dented their confidence.
The heartbreaking two-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka last Thursday (September 14) knocked them out of the competition. The Babar Azam-led side finished the Super 4 table at the bottom following India’s loss to Bangladesh.
In the aftermath of Pakistan’s exit from the continental tournament, the reports of rift emerged in the media between skipper Babar and star pacer Shaheen Afridi.
There were also some social media posts which claimed that former interim chief selector Shahid Afridi wanted Babar to be sacked as captain and Shaheen to take the high-profile role instead.
However, Shahid Afridi dismissed the rumours making rounds on the internet while speaking to Samaa TV.
"I was scrolling through my Twitter, and I saw that now they're running something with my name that Shahid Afridi stated, in my opinion, Shaheen Afridi can lead the team better than Babar Azam, Lahore Qalandars won a PSL trophy under his captaincy," Shahid stated.
"I don't understand why they are saying such things, even though I express my views on Samaa. I share my perspective on Samaa, but they interpret it in their own way. Although I am the only person who keeps Shaheen away from the captaincy," he added.
Amid the speculations of rift, Shaheen Afridi shared a post on Tuesday (September 19), subtly suggesting that there is no bad blood between him and Babar Azam.
Pakistan will return to action in the 2023 ODI World Cup, where they will begin their campaign against Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad.