Pakistan news July 7, 2011

Players leaked information to media - Intikhab

ESPNcricinfo staff

Intikhab Alam, the manager of the Pakistan team, has said a small clique of players within the national side have interfered in the team's management, leaked confidential information and contributed to the divisive culture and controversies that have dogged Pakistan cricket in the last few years.

"There were times when, 15 minutes after a team meeting, television channels were running tickers about things that happened or were discussed in the meeting," Intikhab told GEO Super, a local television channel.

"There are many things that are not for public and media consumption, and when they are leaked to the media it creates problems within the team," he said. "There is a need for these players to sit down and discuss everything, including reservations with the management."

Pakistani cricket was rocked by the spot-fixing scandal last summer, but apart from that, there has been an increasing divide between the board and its players. In March 2010, the PCB banned and fined seven of its top players after the side's disastrous, winless tour of Australia. Eventually the punishments were reduced or rescinded altogether.

More recently, Shahid Afridi was hauled up by the Pakistan board for publicly revealing his disagreements with coach Waqar Younis after the tour of the West Indies. Afridi had announced his retirement from international cricket after being replaced by Misbah-ul-Haq as one-day captain, while simultaneously attacking unnamed members of the board. The PCB responded by suspending his central contract and withdrawing his no-objection certificate to play county cricket for Hampshire, as well as putting together a showcause notice detailing several breaches of the code of conduct.

Afridi filed a petition with the Sindh High Court against the PCB, but the matter was resolved when Afridi and the board came to a compromise: his NOC was reinstated after he withdrew the petition. On July 2 legspinner Danish Kaneria filed a petition against the board in the Sindh High Court in the wake of his continued non-clearance by the board's integrity committee.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq admitted earlier this week that playing through the controversies had been akin to "mental torture" and Intikhab said the recent incidents had "damaged Pakistan cricket and are not good for our image", but attempts were now being made to change the culture. "We are trying to set things right now and developing a more positive culture," he said.

"We have also tried reforming and reasoning with the players, and they are now responding well, which is good for Pakistan cricket."

Intikhab, who was critical of Afridi, in his West Indies tour report said his reports were based on "facts". "Whatever I have written in my reports is fact and what I honestly believe is true, and it is my own personal assessment of the players.

"If I try to hide these things I am not helping Pakistan cricket or these players. [The] truth must come out," he said.

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