Pak players meet `suspicious characters` in England: Report

Karachi: The Pakistan team management is keeping a close eye on some members of its touring squad in England after reports claimed that the players were mixing with "suspicious characters" and violating the PCB guidelines.

According to a report in daily `Jang`, team management was also looking suspiciously into the interaction of some players who had even invited these people into their rooms which was against the ethics and the guidelines of the tour.

"After the mixing of some players with these suspicious characters who don`t have very good reputations even the team management is looking closely at the way some players lost their wickets in the run chase at Leeds against Australia," the report said.

The report also said that when the tour started players ad been given clear guidelines on how to behave during the tour but some were found involved in violating them as they were seen mixing with their "agents" near the dressing room and in the team hotel.

"Some of the agents have been seen with the players in restaurants and the team hotel," the report said.

When contacted Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed dismissed the report as a bundle of lies and an attempt to create controversy around the team.

"There is nothing shady going on. No player is doing anything wrong nor violating the team discipline. It really upsets me when such stories come out and that too before an important Test series against England," Yawar said from Nottingham.

"We are not investigating anything nor the movement of players. Before the tour the players had informed the Board about the agents they had in England and we are aware of them.

Before the tour the players were briefed and they are following the guidelines," Yawar said.

He said these reports would not help the team morale before an important match starting from Thursday. "Pakistan cricket needs support of the media and people."

Pakistan cricket was rocked after the tour to Australia early this year when the Board banned or fined seven players for misconduct and indiscipline.

Some players were even blamed for "under-performing" on the tour.

The Pakistan team faced a crisis of sorts after the first Test against Australia this month when Shahid Afridi decided to quit Test cricket, prompting the Board to appoint Salman Butt as the Test skipper.

Questions are still doing the rounds as to why Afridi suddenly decided to retire from Test cricket after being appointed for the entire series by the PCB.


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