Karachi, June 17 : Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has refuted reports suggesting groupism in the Pakistani cricket team, saying that there were no ill feelings among players against skipper Shoaib Malik or coach Geoff Lawson.
Media reports had earlier suggested that the Pakistan team was divided into two groups, one supporting captain Shoaib Malik and the other backing team coach Geoff Lawson over team selection.
The alleged dissension, coupled with Pakistan's crushing 140-run defeat in the recent tri-series in Bangladesh had prompted PCB chief Dr Nasim Ashraf to hold talks with players on the issue. But, Afridi claimed the meeting had nothing to do with the reported groupings in the team.
"There are no groupings in the team. Such stories are not correct. The chairman met us to buck us up and reminded us of our duties and responsibilities as senior players of the side," the Dawn quoted Afridi as saying.
Ashraf met with senior players - Afridi, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan - separately and then with Lawson and Malik in Dhaka on Friday, on the eve of the tri-nation final.
Afridi said he himself had advised Malik to meet with the players after the defeat against India. "The idea was for the players to talk out and exchange notes to create a stronger bonding. We know that if the team wins then it is good news for the entire nation. After the way we lost to India we were all disappointed and we wanted to fightback," he said.
Team Manager Talat Ali also asserted that everything was fine in the team and said the board chairman had announced a cash prize of one million rupees for every player after the final win which was Pakistan's first in a major tournament after five years.