Karachi: Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam has refuted reports that members of the national team, now in Abu Dhabi for the series against South Africa, have become the prisoners in the team hotel because of the new code of conduct for the players.
Media has reported that the players were not venturing out of their hotel rooms because of the new conduct code and this was their way of a silent protest against the more stringent rules and regulations.
However, Intikhab said from Abu Dhabi that there was no bar on the players moving outside the hotel.
“What we have only done is enforce strict curfew timings and we will not tolerate any player not adhering to these timings. They are free to go out but they have to follow the curfew timings,” he said.
The former captain hoped the new code of conduct would soon start showing results and was necessary given the recent spate of controversies and scandals surrounding the national team.
He admitted that the team management had been tasked with keeping a close eye on the people, the players move around with inside or outside the hotel.
“These new regulations are now required to bring about an improvement in Pakistan cricket. We are clear we will not tolerate any indiscipline from any player,” he said.
Sources also said that Intikhab had held a long one-to-one session with young batsman Umar Akmal and told him clearly he needed to play for the team and improve his batting to keep his place in the team.
Umar was dropped for the first one-dayer against South Africa because of his poor form in the two Twenty20 matches against South Africa.
“Intikhab advised Umar to not waste his immense talent and remain in the team on performance basis. During the session Umar had his head bent but Inti told him to talk to him eye to eye and be straight forward,” the source said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has even formed an Integrity Committee in line with the instructions from the International Cricket Council that the PCB needed to reform itself and improve its governance to tackle anti-corruption and discipline issues.
Sources said the Integrity Committee has now been given authority by the Board Chairman to directly deal with cases of indiscipline or violations of the code of conduct by Pakistan team members, while in the past the Chairman himself dealt with these things.
“The Integrity Committee will in fact give clearance for any replacements in the team as well after checking their background,” the source said.