Senior cricketers of the Pakistan national team were left fuming and unhappy at a function of the Pakistan Cricket Board after comedians ridiculed them before a live audience.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal in particular conveyed their feelings to the board officials before leaving the function, which was organised by the PCB on Friday night to honour the team that won the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March.
PCB media manager, Nadeem Sarwar, meanwhile, played down the incident and denied any player was upset with the jokes of the comedians who were hired by the PCB marketing manager Asif Jamal for the function.
"No player left the function early or protested. I myself had dinner with some of the players. It was all light hearted stuff," Sarwar said.
However, sources close to both the players as well as Pakistan's Geo Channel confirmed that they were unhappy and Misbah, Afridi and Akmal had left early as a mark of protest.
Sources said the cricketers got upset when the comedians ridiculed some of them in front of the audience.
The comedians showed by gestures how Afridi was unhappy and didn't give his 100 percent if he was not the captain, while on Misbah they commented he got out early as he wanted to be with his wife.
The comedians' act was the brainchild of the PCB marketing manager and department, and sources said PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf was likely to question them about the whole issue.
"Misbah was upset because being the national team captain he felt he deserved more respect and that players need not be ridiculed in front of audiences when a function was being organised to honour them for their performances," a source said.
During the function, Ashraf announced pay enhancements and bonus awards of 4,00,000 each for the players who leave on May 28 for a full tour of Sri Lanka.