Pakistan's 'pack of cards' blamed
Captain and batsmen rapped after collapses see Pakistan lose first Sri Lanka Test series.
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2009 08:40 GMT

Pakistan feel the pain after letting two Tests slip away from them [AFP]

Just three weeks after being hailed as national heroes for winning the Twenty20 World Cup, the Pakistan cricket team is under fire after suffering their first Test series defeat in Sri Lanka.

Accusations of splits within the team have emerged after Pakistan went 2-0 down in their three-Test series against the Sri Lankans on Tuesday after two humiliating batting collapses.

Former chief selector Abdul Qadir blamed former captain Shoaib Malik and the current skipper Younus Khan for creating divisions within the team.

Pointing the finger

"They are responsible for these defeats," Qadir said on Wednesday.

"There are groups within the team because of them."

Younus replaced Malik as captain earlier this year in a surprise decision by the board after Pakistan had lost a one-day series at home to Sri Lanka.

Former Test paceman Sarfraz Nawaz said Malik and other senior players were not cooperating with Younis.

"The board must give such players exemplary punishment," Nawaz said.

"The board must investigate how a strong batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards when we were in winning positions."

Political infighting in the Pakistani dressing room is nothing new.

Cancer row

Imran Khan, widely regarded as Pakistan's best captain, retired after the teams's 1992 World Cup after reports players were not happy with his diverting a share of the prize money and winning bonuses to the construction of his cancer hospital.

"The board must give such players exemplary punishment...and investigate how a strong batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards when we were in winning positions"

Ex Pakistan bowler Sarfraz Nawaz

In 1993 Javed Miandad was sacked as captain after internal revolts by fast bowlers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

Wasim himself was forced to step down a year later when a group of senior players led by batsman Salim Malik revolted against him.

Pakistan board chairman Ejaz Butt denied the existence of splits within the team and insisted there would be no knee-jerk reaction to the defeat in Sri Lanka.

"It is rubbish," he said in Lahore.

"There are no groupings in the team. I know Younus has a good relationship with his vice-captain and other players.

"I think our team is taking time to adjust to Test cricket.

"They have played just four matches in the last 20 months. We need to give them time."

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