Karachi: Pakistan manager Naved Akram Cheema has dismissed speculation about problems in the national team in the ongoing cricket World Cup and said all the players and management were united.
"There is no favouritism or bias in the team regarding anyone and all the players and management are in high spirits and on one platform," Cheema told reporters in Adelaide on Thursday.
He was responding to questions about the decision to not play wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed in the first four matches of the World Cup and to use Umar Akmal as a part time wicketkeeper.
"This is a wrong impression about Sarfraz that there was any favouritism or bias. I don't think there was any issue over Sarfraz, he is important member of team but at that time we had a specialist opener who had replaced Hafeez so we wanted to give him a chance and when he did not perform we gave Sarfraz a chance," Cheema said, adding that Sarfraz is not a specialist opener.
"Everything was done with consensus. We (tour selection committee) discuss everything. We look at fitness of players and specifically their performances at nets and I give preference to the opinion of captain and coach because they executive plans on ground," he added.
Cheema, who chairs the tour selection committee meeting, said that the conduct of the players was very good.
"They do what they are told and we are no less than any other team," he said.
Cheema also said that he had interacted with other team managers and ICC officials regarding the refusal of teams to tour Pakistan because of security issues.
"I have met with managers and ICC officials whenever it is possible. I spoke to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union chief executive and he was very keen to send their team to Pakistan. They want to tour in May.
"I advised him that I would also give recommendations for the tour and they should talk directly to Pakistan Board. Both the Boards are now negotiating as Zimbabwe also want Pakistan to make a return tour," he said.