Misbah ul Haq and Mohammad Hafeez. -File photo

LAHORE: Pakistan's Test and one-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Twenty20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez again denied reports of a rift Tuesday, saying the rumours were damaging the team.

Misbah had already denied similar reports on the team's return from South Africa where Pakistan were routed 3-0 in Tests and were edged out 3-2 in the one-day series, defeats which local media blamed on differences within the side.

But former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt reignited the controversy on Tuesday, alleging Hafeez and team's head coach Dav Whatmore had formed a nexus that left Misbah sidelined.

“Both Hafeez and Whatmore support and back each other and that has put great pressure on Misbah, affecting his performance,” Butt told Dawn.

Pakistani cricket has a long and sorry history of infighting and Hafeez said Butt's accusations were bad for Pakistan.

“Ijaz Butt is a respected person and he should have thought that such a statement affects a country's image,” Hafeez, sitting alongside Misbah, told a press conference.

Misbah said Pakistan lost because South Africa played better.

“I said this in South Africa, I repeated this on the team's return and now I say this again – we lost because South Africa were a better team and the reason of our defeat was not differences,” said Misbah.

Hafeez, who replaced Misbah as T20 skipper in May last year, said the Pakistan team needed better and more positive support.

“Such baseless reports of differences do not help,” said Hafeez, who flopped with the bat in both Tests and one-dayers.

Pakistan's next assignment is the eight-nation Champions Trophy in England in June, and Misbah was upbeat.

“Pakistan has done well in England so I am quite hopeful that we will achieve good results in the Champions Trophy,” he said.

Pakistan face India, South Africa and the West Indies in the group stage of the tournament, while defending champions Australia, England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand make up the other pool.

Updated Apr 09, 2013 07:39pm

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Comments (16) (Closed)


Zaheer
Apr 09, 2013 03:46pm
Ah Mr. Butt has been inflicted again by his old "Foot & Mouth Disease" Here is a man who was a total disaster as an administrator, called a "Buffon" by the ICC,and was responsible for one tragedy after another befalling Pakistan cricket - to name a few, Spot fixing,attack on the Sri Lankan team, rift with ICC etc. and yet he has the audacity of criticisng the present administation. Go away Mr. Butt to your (not so well desreved) retirement.
Mustafa
Apr 09, 2013 06:31pm
Butt is so dangerous for our cricket that he can affect it without being part of PCB.
junaid
Apr 10, 2013 01:10am
Misbah and Hafeez should avoid answering such rediculous rumours. Ijaz Butt is trying to prove he knows something no one knows. Well, I wish he had used all his intelligence at the time when he had his chance. Now he is missing the attention he used to get. In my opinion, even if there is a conflict they should resolve it among themselves instead of announcing it.
Hassan
Apr 10, 2013 01:15am
Ah.. Hafeez and Misbah should realize that media has to put up new true or false new because this is there bread and butter. They must focus on game and shut the mouth of media by performance.
avid_supporter
Apr 10, 2013 03:21am
So we hear from Ijaz Butt yet again?????? Who cares what he says.
Amir Khan
Apr 10, 2013 03:51am
i have read that PCB have decided to bring in a psychologist to help Pakistan team ? if its true i am sure after a few days that psychologist need a psychologist.... I think we should keep the team as it is for atleast till the end of Champions Trophy and if some big names can add some real value to the team keep them or discard them. after champions trophy give some new young players a chance and a good run in the team till world cup 2015.... i think pakistan cricket needs it now badly.. anyway. GG PAKISTAN :)
Amir Khan
Apr 10, 2013 03:59am
i think pakistan team should pick the strong and experince team for the champions trophy, including Afridi, Misbah, Akmal bros, Gul etc.... and if in Champions Trophy these players can not add value to the team than they should be discarded and than build a young team with the focus on World Cup 2015. i dont think we have a good young player after Amir, and Umar Akmal. they were the two best players we have produce in the last 7-8 years.
Ather
Apr 10, 2013 04:43am
Pakistan cricket is under far better shape now after Ijaz Butt quit. I would urge Ijaz Butt to just refrain from commenting on Cricket. During Ijaz Butt's tenure nothing but conspiracies and scheming were the order of the day.
common man
Apr 10, 2013 05:24am
Ijaz Butt and Salman Butt there is an irony behind their last names!
Ali Hassan
Apr 10, 2013 07:24am
Wow :)
ahmed2030
Apr 10, 2013 07:31am
Ijaz Butt - kindly stay away from Pakistan Cricket. But the crook you are, we should not expect you to do anything positive. So I ask Dawn and other newspapers and media in general to not put losers like Ijaz Butt in your headlines. Giving him any importance would only mean that you (media) are not Pakistan Cricket's well wishers. Cut all this Butt crap please !!!
Javid Shirazi
Apr 10, 2013 07:36am
Differences or not, the selectors must only pick future players based on performance alone. Failures be dropped.
khan
Apr 10, 2013 12:56pm
Agree
khan
Apr 10, 2013 12:59pm
No more Afridi, Misbah, Akmal bros,Malik etc.
khan
Apr 10, 2013 01:00pm
Just Ignore him.
PAkFan
Apr 10, 2013 03:01pm
AMAZING that Ijaz Butt can still make such announcements publicly. No wonder how our best fast bowlers got banned for five and ten years. Now is the time for Ijaz Butt to be banned for any public speak out...