Gossip mongers spreading false rumours, says PJ Mir

Friday, March 16, 2007

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Pakistan’s team management on Friday hit back at ‘gossip mongers’ saying that they were spreading false rumours of discord among players and officials in order to derail the Greenshirts in the World Cup. “It is all false propaganda spread by gossip mongers,” Pakistan team spokesman PJ Mir referring to widespread reports in Pakistani and Indian media that all is not well in the Pakistani camp here in the Caribbean.Mir told a group of reporters here that people with vested interests were trying to malign the Pakistani team by spreading false reports of growing rift within the national team.There have been strong indications in recent days that Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was not getting along with Mir. On Friday, a rumour spread here like wildfire here that Inzamam slapped Mir over an argument.Mir just laughed it off saying that he has a perfect working relationship with Inzamam. “We have absolutely no problems with each other and I’m surprised how anybody can take such rumours seriously,” he said.When contacted, Inzamam also denied having any problems with Mir, a television anchor played for Pakistan in the inaugural World Cup in 1975.Before this latest rumour, there were reports that Inzamam gave some of his players a bashing after Pakistan lost their opening game of the World Cup against the West Indies on Tuesday.“There is no truth in that either,” said Mir. “As a captain, Inzamam has the right to discuss things with his players. He is a good captain and is well-respected by his players so there is no way that Inzamam would be going out there and bashing his players,” he explained.It is also believed that the team’s senior players especially Inzamam was not happy with the involvement of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf. The Board chief was in the Caribbean for a few days and according to sources he even made his way into the Pakistan dressing room and wanted to attend the team meetings.However, Mir denied any such thing ever happened. “He (Ashraf) never sat in the dressing room or tried to attend team meetings. It is all a part of the propaganda,” he explained.The team’s media manager believes that all such rumours are being spread by elements who do not want Pakistan to do well in the World Cup.“It is easy to see that people who are spreading false and damaging rumours about the Pakistani team have their own agenda. They do not want our team to give a good performance here. But I must say that the boys are all united under Inzamam and would give their best here,” he expressed.Pakistan are in a must-win situation in their remaining Group D matches against Ireland and Zimbabwe after suffering a 54-run defeat against the West Indies.

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