New Delhi:Stung by Shahid Afridi's remarks that he lacks leadership qualities, Deccan Chargers captain VVS Laxman retaliated, accusing the flamboyant Pakistani all-rounder of breaching team ethics.
Shocked by the Pakistani's sudden outburst, a hurt Laxman said the Indian Premier League (IPL) debacle was a collective failure and the captain alone should not be blamed.
"Afridi has no team ethics. Speaking negatively about the team in public, let alone the captain, is just not on," a miffed Laxman was quoted as saying by www.Cricketnext.Com.
"Being an experienced cricketer, he should not be questioning the way the team functions. I am really shocked to say the least," the stylish Hyderabadi said.
"He should know that it was a collective failure because he was part of the team. It is unfortunate that he chose to blame the captain for it," Laxman added.
Afridi had said Laxman struggled in IPL because his game was not tailor-made for the Twenty20 format and Australian Adam Gilchrist -- who led the side after Laxman fractured his wrist -- would have been a better choice as skipper of the side.
"Probably it is time someone told Afridi that a captain can only be as good as the team and to blame only me is totally out of place," Laxman said.
"The truth is that the team did not perform to its potential and every player should take the blame for it and try and comeback strongly in the next edition instead of blaming each other," Laxman said. Incidentally, Afridi himself was a big flop with the bat throughout the IPL.
Laxman said some of the matches which his side lost were pretty close and it was disappointing to sit out with injury.
"It was unfortunate and frustrating to sustain the injury when things were looking up as four out of the five matches that we lost under my captaincy were very close and could have gone either way.
"There was not much I could do after I fractured my hand and heeded the team's request to travel with it. So just being with the team does not mean I was influencing the decisions on the field.
"Gilchrist was totally in charge of the game once he took over from me and being a true professional, he does not take orders from others and was instrumental in making the decisions in the middle," Laxman added.