In the Indian subcontinent, a poor performance by a cricket team is followed by all sorts of theories and rumours regarding what's happening behind the scenes. In Pakistan, this is taken to another level. After the disappointing show of Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side in the World Cup game against India, all sorts of blame games are playing out in the media.
From digging old graves to propagating conspiracy theories, experts and commentators are letting it rip at the entire cricket governance structure of the country. To add more masala to the drama, there is an audio clip of actor and former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official Raju Jamil that has gone viral on social media.
In this audio file, Jamil is making shocking claims about there being a faction of players in Pakistan's squad who are trying to unseat Sarfaraz Ahmed due to him being from Karachi. He claims that he confronted Shoaib Malik while shooting for an ad and told him off for attempting to undermine Sarfaraz's authority.
The former media manager of Pakistan team names Imad Wasim as the person who is sought to be placed at the head of the team by this cabal. He also indicts chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq for being part of this plot and his nephew Imam-ul-Haq as a member of this group.
This rant came to light on June 14 but picked up currency after Pakistan's heavy loss to India in a World Cup game. Pakistani fans and commentators were searching for people to blame for their shambolic performance and everyone seemed fair game. While many targeted captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for his decision to bowl first, some went deeper into the reasons why Pakistani cricket is suffering. Jamil's voice would have got drowned out amidst the cacophony of noises had his diatribe not been leaked.
In response to this 'expose,' PCB has issued a statement rejecting the claims in the audio clip and completely refuted claims of factionalism. They have even talked about taking legal action against Raju Jamil.
On his part, Jamil appeared on a Pakistani news channel to answer questions and, on live TV, seemed much more cautious and mellow while talking about Shoaib and the alleged factionalism. He even agreed when the anchor asked if the leak of audio clip could be a conspiracy to malign him and obstruct his coming projects with Pakistani cricketers.
But the fact remains that Pakistan cricket has always been afflicted by murky dealings. This is why every rumour and allegation is likely to be believed by the fans.