Pakistan coach Micky Arthur admitted that watching Mohammad Irfan bowled only five overs at Headingley before leaving the field was “very frustrating.”
Arthur made it clear that he will not tolerate unfit and under performing players in the national squad.
Irfan, who was called into the squad as a replacement for injured Mohammad Hafeez managed to claim two wickets in just five legitimate overs he bowled in the fourth ODI against England at Headingley before going off with cramps. He was then ruled out of the remaining England tour.
“Irfan is not happy at all with the way the head coach insisted that he return to Pakistan after he limped off the field during the fourth ODI in England with a hamstring strain,” one well-placed source told PTI.
The source said that Irfan after returning to Lahore had complained to some officials that he was not unfit and had only got a slight calf strain, was fit a day after fourth ODI at Manchester.
“Irfan claimed that he informed Arthur that he was fit but was still told to return to Lahore and report at the national cricket academy and be 100 per cent fit for the series against the West Indies,” the source disclosed
Cricket fans have seen Arthur getting angry and upset when Irfan came off the field with a hamstring or calf strain after bowling just five overs.
“The head coach also didn’t support a move to allow Mohammad Hafeez to remain with the team after he was ruled out of the second ODI with a fitness issue,” the source said.
In Hafeez’s case also Arthur had made it clear he would not allow unfit players to travel with the team Hafeez also returned to Lahore and is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA.
Arthur, who took charge of the Pakistan team, has apparently said at team meetings that no compromise would be made on the fitness of any player and players need to start performing as per team plans and not play selfishly.
“In the past, some players used to hide their fitness issues in conjunction with the PCB medical panel at the NCA and also by befriending the national team’s trainer or physio and remain with the team,” the source said.