Fast-bowler Yasir Shah and leg-spinner Wahab Riaz were involved in a minor altercation in Brisbane on Wednesday during training of the first Test against Australia; an incident that has been played down by Pakistan’s management.
According to a PCB official, the scuffle started following an argument while playing football on the eve of the opening Test against Australia starting Thursday.
Pakistan’s team management confirmed that the incident did occur, but insisted it wasn’t “serious.”
“Both [players] had an exchange of words but it wasn’t serious,” media manager Amjad Hussain Bhatti told ESPNcricinfo. “Both were playing football and naturally while tackling one got pushed. So that [altercation] was mainly [in] the heat of the moment.
“Both were immediately separated to avoid it going any further. But now, they are both fine and have apologised to each other too. They have realised that this incident could have been avoided.”
However, later, both players took to Twitter and posted a picture together from Yasir’s profile. Both players also published a video saying there is nothing wrong between them.
— Yasir Shah Offical (@Shah64Y) December 14, 2016
— Emmad Hameed (@Emmad81) December 14, 2016
“Hi guys there is nothing wrong, as is being told in the media. Me and Yasir are very good friends and nothing happened between us. We are united and we will play together tomorrow and you have to pray for us,” says Wahab in the video.
This is not the first time we are hearing of an altercation between Pakistani players on an international tour with the brawl between former fast-bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Asif in Johannesburg in 2007 ICC World Twenty20 being the most infamous one.
The two were involved in a dressing-room spat which resulted in Asif being struck by a bat on his left thigh. Akhtar was later sent home over the disciplinary breach.