Peshawar Zalmi captain and the most beloved foreign star in Pakistan Super League (PSL) history, Darren Sammy, on Monday posted a cryptic message on Twitter in what was seen by some as signs of friction between him and his franchise.
"I’ve learnt that you are important until you’ve completed your role. #dealingwithhumans," Sammy had tweeted shortly after he was "rested" by Peshawar for their match against Karachi Kings.
Since then, there has been a dearth of information on what made Sammy say such a thing and if it was indeed linked with him not featuring against Karachi.
Veteran sports insider Waheed Khan today offered some insight, confirming that Sammy's tweet was in relation to him being rested, adding that the Zalmi management are unhappy with his remarks and may even drop him for their next match.
"Darren Sammy was told to take a rest for the match against Karachi Kings and he tweeted this. Zalmi management are not happy and have told him this behavior/reaction is not on. It's unlikely Sammy will play next game as Zalmi try to settle on a combination," Waheed tweeted.
Zalmi had preferred compatriot Carlos Brathwaite over Sammy against Karachi last night. The decision was taken after Sammy's struggles for form and fitness, during which time Zalmi have descended to fifth on the PSL 2020 points table.
However, their gamble last night did not work as well as they had hoped, with Brathwaite scoring just 8 runs in Peshawar's thumping defeat to Kings although he bowled fairly well for his 13-1 in 2 overs.
Waheed's information, however, differs from legendary fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's claim that Sammy has had a falling out with Zalmi owner Javed Afridi.
Akhtar, who said that the nature of Sammy's problem with Javed was similar to what led Shahid Afridi to leave the franchise, urged Zalmi to respect Sammy," whom he termed "a hero".
If Rawalpindi Express's information turns out to be true, it will be a strange development as Sammy and Javed were seen cruising around on the streets of federal capital just days ago, looking as chummy as ever.
It is pertinent to mention that Sammy is to be conferred with Nishan-e-Pakistan and honorary citizenship on March 23 for his services to Pakistan cricket.
He is credited for softening Pakistan's image in the cricket world and touring the country when other stars were reluctant to.
Later in the day, Zalmi head coach Mohammad Akram held a media talk in Rawalpindi to further refute rift reports.
Akram said that it was his decision to rest Sammy against Karachi, adding that Sammy, too, was in agreement that he needed rest.
The head coach explained that resting players is nothing new, also saying that Sammy was given a break to "work on his form and fitness".
However, there was no explanation offered for Sammy's "cryptic" tweet that had started it all.